Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Te Kaieke Tohorā • Whale Rider

by

  • Medium: glass (blown), pounamu (New Zealand jade), tooth (killerwhale)
  • Size: 9 × 11 × 6.5 inches (excl. base)
  • Reference Code: KX110501

Part of the “Wrestling with Spirits” catalogued exhibition shown at the Hastings City Art Gallery, New Zealand and curated by Sandy Adsett.

A Tohunga named Te Tahi-o-te-Rangi from Whakatane was left stranded by his people on Whakaara (White Island). He did a karakia to summon assistance, which came in—some say—a form of a whale; others say a killerwhale. This whale was called Tuutarakauika. On his journey back to the mainland the whale asked if he should exact utu. Te Tahi-o-te-Rangi said: “Waiho maa te whakamaa hei patu.” A saying used today: “Let their shame be their punishment.”

Lewis Tamihana Gardiner

Lewis Tamihana Gardiner

Māori

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.”