About To¯ ia Mai

Hamilton News - - NEWS -

To¯ ia Mai is made from 3mm plate steel and fea­tures niho tani­wha, a Waikato pat­tern and ref­er­ence to a proverb de­scrib­ing the many chiefs and vil­lages along the Waikato River, and a taniko pat­tern taken from the kaitaka or fine cloak be­long­ing to King Ta¯ whiao. While the sculp­ture has been built us­ing mod­ern ma­te­ri­als and tech­nol­ogy, it was in­spired by the story of Te Winika, the last sur­viv­ing waka from the 1860s land wars, an icon of cul­tural and his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance for the Waikato River and its peo­ple.

The seven-me­tre-tall sculp­ture cel­e­brates Matariki (the star clus­ter Pleiades). Matariki and her six daugh­ters are rep­re­sented in the waka de­sign.

King Ta¯ whiao was the sec­ond Ma¯ ori King, leader and a re­li­gious vi­sion­ary. He was a mem­ber of the Nga¯ ti Mahuta iwi of Waikato.

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