An enormous hand-sculpted rock carving in France nearly six years in the making could be the largest work of Maori art in the Northern Hemisphere, its creator says.
Paora Toi Te Rangiuaia (Ngati Porou) began working on the 10m by 5m carving. The work, which is nearly finished, depicts the Maori goddess of death, Hinenuitepo, a tuatara, and the moko of Tanenuiarangi, who according to Maori belief ascended the heavens to bring knowledge to the Earth.
Mr Toi Te Rangiuaia said his work followed that of his great-grandfather Riwai Pakerau, who adopted European and American influences in his kowhaiwhai work on East Coast whare nui.
Kua whakairotia tetahi kanohi Maori ki runga i tetahi toka tino nui i Wiwi. Kua ono tau te kaiwhakairo a Paora Toi Te Rangiuaia o Ngati Porou e whakairo ana i te kanohi nei neke atu i te tekau mita te teitei. Ko te whakairo Maori nui o te ao e whakapuaki ana i nga korero tuku iho a te iwi maori, me te whakanui hoki i a Hinenuitepo, tetahi tuatara me Tanenuiarangi te atu nana piki ki nga rangi ki te tiki i nga kete wananga. I timata nga mahi mo Toi Rangiuaia nana whakapaukaha a tona koroua a Riwai Pakerau. koia te tohunga i ona wa mo tona whakairo i nga momo koru o nga ao e rua, te ao Maori me te ao Pakeha.