Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)
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Atua Whawhai • June Moon: Keeper of Magic



Maori were not idolaters but, believed more in the wairua (spirit) in the heavens and the living world around us. The tohunga (expert) would karakia (incant) to summon the wairua to take abode in these carved figures commonly called god sticks. This form would act as a vessel for only a short period of time. Placement of these sticks varied; sometimes they were used in the hope of a bountiful catch at sea or for a successful harvest. The tohunga had the ability to connect man to the gods, which made them the Keepers of Magic.

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

101-1669 West 3rd Ave.
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6J 1K1

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


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one block West of the Granville Island gates
Between Pine St. and Fir St.

Tuesday to Saturday, open 10-5
Sunday and Holidays, open 12-5