Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Taniwha o te Wairoa I


All tribes have taniwha, some arrived in Aotearoa with the migratory waka as guardians and protectors of the deep sea mariners. There are many stories of taniwha involved with the creation or modification of features in our landscape such as harbours, channels to the sea and islands. Rangiriri is our highly renowned taniwha of the upper reaches of the northern Wairoa River, just south of Tunatahi (Dargaville). He is a guardian and warner of impending danger or disaster. “Hautupua” translates variously as “fearsome”, “remarkable”, “sea deity” and “water monster.” So my interpretation is of “Rangiriri Te Hautupua” is “Rangiriri the Remarkable.”

This pot is hand-built coil pot and with all the details hand-carved. The “warm white” clay is my own personal formula achieved by blending a local white firing clay with a commercial product and I make the terra sigillata out of the same blend. The addition of the local unrefined clay has the effect of moving it to a warmer spectrum of white. The commercial clays fire to quite a cold, grey white.

Manos Nathan

Manos Nathan

Manos Nathan


Te Roroa, Ngāti Whātua, Ngā Puhi


Since the mid-1980s, Manos has been at the forefront of the Māori ceramic movement. He is co-founder of Nga Kaihanga Uku, the national Māori clayworkers’ organization, although his background is in woodcarving and sculpture. (He carved the meeting house at Matatina Marae, Waipoua Forest, on his tribal lands.) His clay works draw on customary art forms and on the Māori cosmological and creation narratives. In 1989, he travelled to the United States on a Fulbright grant to visit Native American potters. A reciprocal visit took place in 1991.