Tai Moana Tai Tangata

Maungārongo ki te Whenua,
Maungārongo ki te Tangata

Tai Moana Tai Tangata
Ka pari te Tai Moana
Ka timu te Tai Tangata

When the Ocean tide rises, the Human tide recedes.

 

Ka mau taku ringa ki te parau e hau nei te whenua.
Ka toro taku ringa ki Te Atua e tū nei, ka whakatohe.
Ka kari taku ringa i te one e taiāwhio ana i te motu.
Ka hāpai taku ringa i te toki tūraki i te wao.
Ka whao taku ringa i te remu o taku waka.
Ka pokepoke taku ringa i te paraoa mō te iwi.
Hei whakahari ake mō ngā mahi a ngā tauheke.
Ka mutu au i konei.
(Te Ingo Ngaia)


Maungārongo ki te Whenua, Maungārongo ki te Tangata honours the tactics of Taranaki Māori leaders to ensure the livelihoods of their people.

The pātaka is an architectural form that represents collective Māori identities and resources, and contains the treasures of the people. The British Crown coveted this wealth and seized these resources by various means. While Māori initially responded to British settlement with curiosity and generosity, Taranaki Māori quickly learned to actively defend their resources, evoking both Tūmatauenga (the god of war) and Rongomātāne (the god of peace).

This pātaka is mobilised as a wagon that commemorates the dual strategies of Tītokowaru, a broker of peace and a leader in war, and the determined pacifism of Parihaka leaders Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi. (Anna-Marie White)

(Extracted from Tai Moana Tai Tangata's upcoming exhibition catalogue; also read essays about the event)


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2020
Wood, synthetic polymer paint and graphite
3200 x 8000 x 3200mm approx.
Special thanks to Greg and Ali Lang, Nathan Roa and Daniel Ormsby

photos by Neil Pardington (Ngai Tahi, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngāti Waewae)