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Ruatepupuke


Billy

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From the origins of carving comes the legend of Ruatepupuke. When Ruatepupuke's son, Te Manuhauturuki went missing at sea, Rua went searching for him and found him at the whare (house) of Tangaroa, the God of the sea. He rescued him and also took the carved posts outside the whare, thus bringing the secret of carving to his people. I recently read the biography of Paki Harrison. I was inspired by his methods and philosophies. He was a hard yet fare man who held great mana amongst his peers and the Maori community. He was incredibly knowledgable in Maori custom and traditional carving, yet he was one of the original pioneers of contemporary Maori art in design and techniques. I was saddened to learn of his passing shortly after the completion of his book, so I carved this with Paki in my mind. The lower section represents Ruatepupuke diving down to get his son and bring the secret of carving back to the world above. The top section is a contemporary approach to manaia. Often regarded as a spiritual guardian, which Paki did acknowledge, but I also learned that many of the motifs and symbols in Maori art have many interpretations from iwi to iwi, and carver to carver. There is an endless amount of knowledge you can attain when learning how and what to carve and the stories that go with it. But when it comes down to it, half of the carving comes from the history and ancestors of our great land, the other half comes from inside yourself. I thank Ranganui Walker and Paki Harrison who helped me discover this. This carving has another significants. It was koha (a gift) from another wonderful craftsman, Hape Kiddle. He gave it to me with one condition, I was not to give it back. I was taken by Hape's generosity, but also humbled that he had faith enough in my work that I would honour this wonderful taonga. The top of the carving is smooth and curved, and flows over the edge to form a point at the front of the carving. This represents the snow-capped peaks of the 3 Mountains in Tongariro National Park. The knotches represent Hape's ancestors from Ngati Tuwharetoa, whose whakapapa lies deep in the lands around Tongariro.

 

I hope you enjoy

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Kia Ora Billy,

 

well well well....as always I'm amazed by the quality of your work...it will be almost a year since I could achieve anything, I had to fix my van (38years old mercedes) and also spend a lot of time with my family that I did not see for the last 6years.....but the good thing is that whenever I look at your work, it's giving me this energy to finish my van, 'coz as soon as it's over I will finally get back on the road and have time (which is the ultimate wealth...)....well What I'm confusingly trying to say is thank's for the inspiration.

 

Take care

 

Christophe

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