Title: Whanaungatanga – Waka Huia
Artist: Eria Gray
Iwi: Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kahungunu
Description: Waka Huia
Materials: Tōtara, Pāua inlay
Artist Statement: The term Waka here is in reference to the long rectangle shape of this art form. This is to hold personal belongings/Taonga. Aesthetically the Huia bird presence is of high significance and is known that feathers of the huia were kept within Wakahuia for generations with other taonga. The concept of this Wakahuia is Whanaungatanga. To quote Dr Rangimarie Te Turuki Pere in regards to Whanaungatanga.
“The ‘family’ that does something together that enables each member to feel that
he/she has a niche and is important is the one that engenders pride, unity, and a real
sense of belonging.”
Whanaungatanga is based on ancestral, historical, traditional and spiritual ties. Knowing one’s geneology is the identity of one’s heritage. This Wakahuia is adorned with Kōwhaiwhai symbolising the flourishing of the spring Kōwhai bloom. In Raperape form this is the wairua (spiritual waters) depicted upon the side, Manaia rippling all over throughout the Kōwhaiwhai pattern.
Dimensions: 310 X 110 X 76 mm