Te Whiti and Tohu over Taranaki
E ai ki tētahi matakite tuauri ka puta mai ‘ngā manu mātauranga e rua’ ki runga ake i te tihi o Taranaki. Ko aua ‘manu e rua’ ko Te Whiti-o-Rongomai rāua ko Tohu Kākahi – nā rāua te hapori whakamārie o Parihaka i whakatū i te pūtake o te Maunga o Taranaki, he punanga i whakaruruhau i ngā Māori i haukerekerehia ai i ngā raupatu whenua o ngā tekautau o 1860. Ko rāua ngā kaihautū o te ātetenga whakamārie ki te whakahēnga o te Karauna i te tino rangatiratanga Māori, ki te horomi haere a tauiwi i te whenua Māori.
Kei te heke te pō i te Resurrection of Te Whiti Over Taranaki, 1975–77. Kei te ū tonu te Maunga o Taranaki hei tohu o te mana o te iwi o Taranaki. Kei te pupuri te manu kōrero, a Te Whiti, i te raukura, he awe toroa e tohu ana i tōna kaupapa, arā, te maungārongo me te ngākau aroha.
He kaikawerongo, he ringa toi hoki, a Selwyn Muru, ā, kua arotahi ia ki te whakapāho i te tirohanga Māori e pā ana ki te hītori, ki ngā āhuatanga o te wā, ki ngā takakinotanga e haere ake nei, e haere ake nei. Ko ēnei toi peita e rua, he wāhanga nō tētahi huinga toi peita e 37 i oti ai i a Selwyn whai muri atu i tōna haerenga ki Parihaka i te wā o te hui nui mā ngā ringa toi me ngā ringa tuhi i Waitara, i te tau 1975. I te wā o te whakaaturanga i te tau 1979 ka puta te wawata o Muru kia tū āna toi hei pou whakamauru i ngā raruraru kei waenga i te Māori me te Pākehā mā te wānanga: ‘Ko tā te marae he whakaōrite i te tangata. Ko te tūmanako ia, ka pērātia tā te whare whakairi toi.’
An ancient prophecy foretold the appearance of ‘two birds of knowledge’ over the peak of Taranaki. These ‘two birds’, Te Whiti-o-Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi established the pacifist community of Parihaka, on the foothills of Mount Taranaki, which offered hope and refugee for Māori who suffered land confiscations in the 1860s. They led their people in a peaceful resistance against the Crown’s denial of Māori sovereign rights and settler immigrants’ encroachment on Māori land.
Night is falling in Resurrection of Te Whiti Over Taranaki, 1975–77. Mount Taranaki, the symbol of the Taranaki people’s mana (power) remains steadfast. Master orator Te Whiti, holds the raukura, three albatross feathers, symbolic of peace and goodwill that he preaches.
As both a journalist and artist, Selwyn Muru has focused on communicating Māori perspectives of history, contemporary life and ongoing injustices. These two paintings are part of a suite of 37 paintings that Selwyn produced after visiting Parihaka during the 1975 Māori artists and writers hui in Waitara. At the time of their exhibition in 1979, Muru expressed his hope that his work could assist in reconciling conflicts between Māori and Pākehā through the promotion of dialogue: ‘The marae is a great leveller. Hopefully the gallery will be one too.’
- Te Whiti and Tohu over Taranaki
- Production date
- oil on board
- 967 x 1220 mm
- Credit line
- Courtesy of Muru Whānau
- Accession no
- Copying restrictions apply
- New Zealand Art
- Display status
- Not on display
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