Title:  My Tīpuna Guide Me From Their Home in the Stars

Artist:  Erihapeti McPherson

Iwi:  Kāi Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Kotimana

Materials:  Acrylic Painting

Description:  As Māori we have many beliefs about our ancestors.  We often speak of them becoming stars ‘kua whetūrangitia’.  One of the origins of this kōrero is Te Waka o Rangi (a star constellation), a canoe with Matariki at the front and Tautoru (Orion’s belt) at the back, captained by a star called Taramainuku.  Te Kupenga a Taramainuku is the net of Taramainuku.  Every night the constellation is in the sky, Taramainuku casts his net down to earth to gather the wairua of the people who have died that day.  He carries them along behind his waka for 11 months and then takes them to the underworld when the constellation sets next to the Sun in May.  The constellation rises again in a month and Taramainuku releases the wairua of our loved ones into the sky to become stars.  This is referred to as Te Haohao a Taramainuku.

Dimensions: 1770 X 1010 mm


Erihapeti McPherson

Erihapeti is of Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe and Kotimana descent. She lives in Golden Bay, Te Tai Tapu, and has a strong relationship with the local hapū. She is a prolific artist and works with many different mediums. She lets herself be guided by her dreams and visions, and her creation process. All of her natural resources are collected with the blessing of the local Mohua hapū.


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