Toi Te Rito Maihi

Uenuku

Uenuku by Toi Te Rito Maihi

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He kaipeita, he kaihanga mātātuhi, he kaituhi, he kaiwhatu tāniko, he kaiwhatu i te korowai, i te whāriki, i te kete whakairo, a Toi Te Rito Maihi. Ko tētahi mahi tino nui āna he hanga i ngā whatunga katoa hei whakaniko i te wharenui o te marae o Kohewhata e pātata ana ki Kaikohe.

E ai ki ngā kōrero tuku iho a te Māori, ko Uenuku te atua o te uenuku, ā, e ai ki ētahi kōrero ā-iwi, ko Uenuku te ingoa o tētahi tupuna rangatira i Hawaiki. Kitea ai tēnei atua a Uenuku i roto i ngā kōrero mō te orokohanga o te hanganga, ā, he tūranga nui tōna i te hanganga o tēnei ao.

Ko te peita a Maihi he urupare e hāngai pū ana ki te tārai rākau mō te atua ā-iwi, a Uenuku. E ai ki a ia:

Toko ake ai te mana mai i ngā ara whiu o te tārai, a Uenuku. I roto i taku peita, kitea tuatahitia a Uenuku hei ara whiu, engari ka huri kē te tirohanga, kātahi ka kitea a Uenuku hei ara kōpekapeka.

Toi Te Rito Maihi is a painter, printmaker, author and distinguished creator of tāniko (weaving), korowai (ornamental cloaks), whāriki (woven mats) and kete whakairo (woven bags). Her largest architectural project has been creating all the interior weavings for the Kohewhata marae wharenui (meeting house) near Kaikohe.

Māori oral narratives recall Uenuku as the god associated with the rainbow, while some tribal traditions also recall Uenuku as the name of a prominent Māori ancestor who lived in Hawaiki. Uenuku is a deity who can be found in the beginnings of creation and holds a prominent role in creating this world.

Maihi’s painting represents her direct response to the carved sculpture of the tribal god Uenuku. She commented:

The taonga, the sculpture, Uenuku emanated power from the carved projections. In my painting you first see Uenuku as an emanation but when you are turning your gaze away from him it’s then that you glimpse Uenuku as a zigzag.

Title
Uenuku
Artist/creator
Production date
1986
Medium
acrylic on canvas
Dimensions
2320 x 990 mm
Credit line
Collection of Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato
Accession no
X2020/103
Copyright
Copying restrictions apply
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
On display

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