Tangaroa fled to the sea when his parents, Ranginui (sky father) and Papatūānuku (earth mother), were separated. There he became the god of the sea, and all that live within it are his children. He is the formidable brother of Tāne, often upsetting his sibling’s domain on land with storms and destructive torments. Māori oral traditions tell us that Tangaroa, with his moody, persuasive character, can be unpredictable and unforgiving to those who fall out of his favour. Known by many names, including Tangaroa-Whakamautai (Tangaroa the controller of tides) and Tangaroa-Whaiariki (Tangaroa the guardian of all seas), the god dominates his world. The knowledge of wood carving comes from Tangaroa’s underwater domain and was brought back to land by the hero Ruatepupuke. Tangaroa continues to provide vital sustenance and resources to humankind.


Ka pūrere a Tangaroa ki te moana i te wehenga o ōna mātua a Ranginui rāua ko Papatūānuku. Ka noho ki reira hei atua o te moana, ka mutu ko ngā kararehe moana katoa ko āna tamariki. Ko ia te teina hautupua o Tāne, i ētahi wā ko āna mahi he karawhiu āwhā pūroro, i ngā haumātakataka hei whakapōrearea i te tuakana i tuawheua. E ai ki ngā kōrero ā-waha Māori, he haumaruru, he whakawhere, he kumukumu, ōna āhuatanga, ka mutu he whakakaitoa ki a rātou i whakahē i āna mahi. Ko ētahi o ōna ingoa ko Tangaroa-Whakamautai, ko Tangaroa- Whaiariki, nōna te mana katoa o tōna ao. Nō te hōhonutanga o te moana o Tangaroa te mātauranga whakairo rākau; he mea haria ki tuawhenua e Ruatepupuke. Nō Tangaroa te mauri o ngā rawa mā tātou te tangata.
 

Artworks | Mahi toi

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White Island
White Island

Buck Nin

On display

Production date
circa 1986
Medium
acrylic on panel
Size (h x w)
2415 x 3630 mm
Credit line
Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2015
Accession no
C2015/1/9.1-4
White Island

Buck Nin

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Flow
Flow

Zena Elliott

On display

Production date
2017
Medium
acrylic on board
Size (h x w)
598 x 598 x 12 mm
Credit line
Private collection, Auckland
Accession no
X2020/80/1
Flow

Zena Elliott

On display

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Current
Current

Zena Elliott

On display

Production date
2017
Medium
acrylic on board
Size (h x w)
800 mm
Credit line
Private collection, Rāhui Pōkeka
Accession no
X2020/45
Current

Zena Elliott

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Te ata toitoi XII
Te ata toitoi XII

John Hovell

On display

Production date
1985-1986
Medium
acrylic on board
Size (h x w)
1260 x 960 mm
Credit line
Private collection, Gisborne
Accession no
X2020/35
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On display

Te ata tuatua
Te ata tuatua

John Hovell

On display

Production date
1985-1986
Medium
acrylic on board
Size (h x w)
1270 x 970 mm
Credit line
On loan from the collection of the late Helen Mason
Accession no
X2020/54
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Te ata atata – cat’s eye bubu
Te ata atata – cat’s eye bubu

John Hovell

On display

Production date
1985
Medium
acrylic on board
Size (h x w)
1260 x 960 mm
Credit line
On loan from Leeanne (Hovell) Siddins, Thames
Accession no
X2020/67
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Aramoana
Aramoana

Israel Tangaroa Birch

On display

Production date
2016-2017
Medium
lacquer on etched stainless steel
Size (h x w)
800 x 800 x 45 mm
Credit line
Private collection, Auckland
Accession no
X2020/75/2
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On display

Tai Timu - Tai Pari
Tai Timu - Tai Pari

Israel Tangaroa Birch

On display

Production date
2020
Medium
lacquer on etched stainless steel
Size (h x w)
1000 x 1000 mm
Credit line
Courtesy of the artist, Martin Browne, Contemporary Sydney and Milford Gallery
Accession no
X2020/75/3