Maui's Waka Rests on High | Sofia Minson Oil Painting

By: New Zealand Artwork  05-Apr-2012

Original Oil Painting - $7,750

Size: 610mm high x 920mm wide
Medium: Oil on canvas
Date: 2011

"Maui's Waka Rests on High" refers to Mt Hikurangi on the East Cape of the North Island of New Zeaand as being the resting place of the waka (canoe) of Maui, the infamous Polynesian demi-god who legend tells fished up the North Island.

One day when Maui and his brothers went fishing far out into the ocean he dropped his magic fishhook over the side of the waka. He felt a strong tug on the line and after much straining and chanting of karakia (incantations), there surfaced Te Ika a Maui (The Fish of Maui), also known as the North Island of New Zealand.

Hikurangi is the sacred mountain of Ngati Porou, the people from whom Sofia decends. It is said to be the first piece of land to have emerged when Maui fished up the North Island. According to Ngati Porou tradition, Maui's waka Nukutaimemeha remains stranded on the mountain and is depicted in this painting with its intricately carved tauihu (bow piece) emerging from rocks on the peak. Pouakai eagles - a large native species with a wingspan of up to 3 metres that went extinct c.1400 A.D. - are shown flying near the ancient vessel. To this day the pouakai and the mountain itself are guardians or 'keepers' of the Nukutaimemeha.

Sofia Minson Oil Paintings | New Zealand Artwork
The information in this article was current at 27 Mar 2012

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