Nga Uri o Hinetuparimaunga, 2005

Photo by Jenny Scown

Hamilton, New Zealand

It was through the quest of Digger Te Kanawa and myself to find a way to celebrate the entranceway to Hamilton Gardens that the sculpture ‘Nga Uri o Hinetuparimaunga’ was born. The eroded forms of the ignimbrite escarpment at Hinuera gave inspiration for the 21 columns. It was appropriate to use this stone too because I’m told the erosion of this material over thousands of years has formed much of the land of the Waikato region, carried and deposited by the Waikato river. The land of Hamilton Gardens is beside the river. The stone is symbolic of this earth.

The need to symbolically protect five of the hinuera columns with an earth blanket or Kakahu, a protective woven pebble cloak, came to me from witnessing too much local, national and international disrespect for mother earth. Along with protection, the Kakahu also symbolically honours the wonder of mother earth. 12,000 quartz pebbles from Southland and 1000 greywacke pebbles from Kaiaua form the Kakahu which is titled, ‘Te Kahu o Papatuanuku’. Three ancient symbols were translated into stone from a celebrated Korowai woven in thread by Digger Te Kanawa. they are: Nihoniho, Poutama and Toorakaraka.

The title for the complete sculpture, ‘Nga Uri o Hinetuparimaunga’, was given at the official handover ceremony on 5th April, 2005 by Haare Puke and John Haunui, Kaumatua of Ngati Wairere.

The Kakahu was titled ‘Te Kahu o Papatuanuku’, on 3rd April, 2005 by Ngati Wairere Kaumatua, Haare Puke, Maniapoto Kaumatua, Buddy Te Whare and Maniapoto Kuia, weaver, Digger Te Kanawa.

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