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