Natanahira Te Pona

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Born and bred in Turangi. When I was young all I wanted to do was join the armoured division in Waiouru as a tank diver, it was a passion for me. I watched the Falklands war unfold. Having seen the effects of an anti-tank missile technology at that time, I decided that it was not a great career to pursue. Hence art was my second option, just a little safer.

From High School I began my education in arts at The New Zealand Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua, graduating in 1990. During much of the 90’s I was part of the Parliament building refurbishment team and then moved on getting involved in live sculpture symposiums. I have participated in many symposiums and as my career developed I began to manage these events. Symposium work has taken me all over the country including Auckland, Rotorua, Whitianga, Kawerau, Whakatane, Stratford and Kawhia. I have exhibited and been involved in symposiums in Texas, Holland, Australia and Nepal.

Along the path of my career I have always kept an open mind about furthering my education and completed a bachelor in Māori Visual Arts at Te Whare Wananga o Aotearoa in 2012. My chosen field of arts has taken me on many different journeys including computer animation and kaiawhina work as well as different marae including Apumoana and Ruapeke.

I can say that it was not an easy road to take but with passion and determination I have reaped the benefits and have not regretted the path I chose.


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My Image

Name: Bowl
Medium: Maire

Price:$550

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My Image

Name:Matau
Medium: Totara

Price:$400

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Name:Manaia
Medium:Totara

Price:$2800

Height: 900 mm
Width: 400 mm

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My Image

Name:Te Ao Marama
Medium: Maire Patu

Price:$650

Length: 370 mm
Width: 120 mm

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My Image

Name: Tiki
Medium: Swamp root Kauri Tiki.

Price: $450

Height 20cm, width 8cm

Manaia has many means including a tale of a man named Mania. It was foretold that he deified a Tohunga and Manaia was killed at sea. His body along with his men were found on the beach, bodies all twisted and their finger nails missing.
Every whanau has their, own manaia form….I see this as an olden day tag…to say this is my area and was often used to claim land. Like a pou stuck in the ground marking territory.

Patu were used in time of war and peace, only the very skilled held and used patu in close combat.
In some whanau it was also use as a taonga of peace and used in whai-korero in place of a tokotoko.

Tiki is our representative of man. It is neither, a good luck charm or a bad luck charm.

Through-out the Polynesia Tiki was known as man or male. The Hei-Tiki is the female side.

This taonga was our version of Adam but in Maori korero wahine came first. Created mainly from Papa-tua-nuku and Tane.

All Rangi and Papa's tamariki had a hand in creating Hine-ahu-one.

Please use the form below if you are interested in purchasing any items on our website. We are not set up for e-commerce, so we will respond to your enquiry with details on how to pay. Thank you from John Rua.

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