Ralph Hotere

Rangi is my ancestor

Rangi is my ancestor by Ralph Hotere

Artwork Detail

Mōhiotia whānuitia a Ralph Hotere hei ringa toi e ngū ai, e ātete ai ki ngā aronga o mua ki āna toi. E ai ki a ia mā āna mahi e kōrero te kōrero. I te tau o 1973 ka pātai a Garth Hall mō ōna whakaaro; ko tāna whakautu: ‘Ka whakaaturia tō peita, ka hua ko te wairua hōrakerake; e kore e hiahiatia kia hokona atu taua wairua.’

Kei te kārangaranga te Rangi Is My Ancestor, 1972 i ngā kupu mārohirohi a Hamiora Tumutara, Pio. I mua i ngā Pakanga Whenua o Aotearoa (1845-1872) ko tāna mahi mā te Hāhi Katorika he kaiako huri haere i te motu, he mahi i te taha o ngā tohunga tikanga tangata – ko Elsdon Best tētahi – e hopu ana i ngā tikanga me ngā hītori o tōna iwi. Whai muri ake i ngā Pakanga Whenua, kāore ia i te whakapono i te whakaoranga i taurangihia e te Hāhi. Ka tonoa ia e tētahi pirihi ki te hoki atu ki te Hāhi, ko tāna urupare:

He tupuna tōku. Māu tō tupuna e whai, māku tōku e whai . . . Ko Rangi tōku tupuna, koia te orokohanga o te iwi Maori. Ko tō tupuna ko te moni.

Ralph Hotere is renowned for his silence and resistance to the production of orthodox readings of his work. He preferred for his work to speak for itself. In 1973 when asked by Garth Hall about his position he replied: ‘When you show a painting you bare your soul, you don’t want to sell your soul as well.’

Rangi Is My Ancestor, 1972 echoes the equally resolute words of Hamiora Tumutara, Pio. Prior to the New Zealand Land Wars (1845–1872) Pio was involved in the Catholic Church as a travelling teacher and worked for anthropologists, including Elsdon Best, recording the traditions and histories of his people for money. After the Land Wars, Pio lost hope in the salvation promised by the church. When a priest asked him to return to the church, he replied:

I have an ancestor of my own. You keep to your ancestor and I will keep to mine . . . Rangi is my ancestor, the origin of the Māori people. Your ancestor is money.

Title
Rangi is my ancestor
Artist/creator
Production date
1972
Medium
acrylic and lacquer on paper
Dimensions
580 x 385 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased with the assistance of Dame Georgina Kirby, 2013
Accession no
2013/28/4
Copyright
Copying restrictions apply
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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