In honouring Papatūānuku (earth mother) we pay tribute to the leadership of women and the role they play in the transmission of knowledge and language, and the maintenance of cultural continuity. Here we see generations of Māori women artists and their artworks, which locate the importance of ira wahine (female life principle). Raranga (weaving), whakakai (body adornment) and uku (clay making) are forms that whakapapa (connect genealogically) to Papatūānuku. They recall the significance of the land in understanding ancestral connections to materials, techniques and knowledge that make up these living, enduring art traditions.
 

Ko te whakamānawa i a Papatūānuku he mihi ki te rangatiratanga o te wahine, e kawe nei i te mātauranga me te reo, i te pupuritanga o te ahurea haere ake nei. Kei roto i te rūma nei ngā toi a ngā ringa toi Māori he wahine nō tēnā reanga, nō tēnā reanga – koia rā te whakahirahira o te ira wahine. Ko ngā toi i tēnei whare tae atu ki te raranga, te whakakai, te uku, he auaha e hono ā-whakapapa nei ki a Papatūānuku. He maumaharatanga ērā ki te whakahirahiratanga o te whenua me tōna pānga ā-whakapapa ki ngā rawa, ngā tikanga me te mātauranga o ēnei pūkenga toi e ora tonu nei, e ora tonu nei.

Artworks | Mahi toi

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Mei
Mei

Ayesha Green

Production date
2016
Medium
acrylic on board
Size (h x w)
1750 x 1220 mm
Credit line
on loan from the Stevenson Collection, Marlborough
Accession no
X2020/38/1
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Ngā Tipuna Kei Mua Ko Tatou Kei Muri
Ngā Tipuna Kei Mua Ko Tatou Kei Muri

Robyn Kahukiwa

Production date
1996
Medium
oil on canvas
Size (h x w)
2200 x 6000 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2018
Accession no
2017/46
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Kauwae, Dome 1
Kauwae, Dome 1

Kāterina Mataira

Production date
Unknown
Medium
acrylic on hardboard
Size (h x w)
1010 x 1200 mm
Credit line
Mataira whānau collection
Accession no
X2020/65/2
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Puke Huia
Puke Huia

Elizabeth Ellis

Production date
1966
Medium
oil on board
Size (h x w)
724 x 623 mm
Credit line
Courtesy of the Mountain Ellis whānau
Accession no
X2020/48/4
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3 tlz.lft, 4 t.l.z.i.f.t<1
3 tlz.lft, 4 t.l.z.i.f.t<1

Saffronn Te Ratana

Production date
2001
Medium
oil stick, graphite and acrylic on paper
Credit line
Private collection, Auckland
Accession no
X2020/80/3.1-2
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Mata Whenua
Mata Whenua

Mere Lodge

Production date
1963
Medium
bronze with wooden base
Size (h x w)
400 x 300 mm
Credit line
Courtesy of the artist
Accession no
X2020/73/1