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Object: Ko hine te iwaiwa, ko hine korako, ko rona whakamau tai

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Title Ko hine te iwaiwa, ko hine korako, ko rona whakamau tai
Production Kahukiwa, Robyn (artist), 1993, New Zealand
Medium summary oil and oilstick on unstretched canvas
Materials oil paint, canvas
Classification oil paintings
Dimensions Overall: 2178 (Height) x 2996 (Length)
Credit line Purchased 1995 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds
Registration number 1995-0016-1

This painting by Robyn Kahukiwa focuses on the mana (prestige) of Maori women and, more particularly, of female ancestors who feature in Maori creation stories.

The work depicts Hine-te-iwaiwa (centre) and two associated female atua (gods), Hine Korako and Rona Whakamautai . These atua are connected with women, childbirth, and Maori weaving – an art form specific to Maori women.

Kahukiwa is of the iwi (tribes) Ngati Porou, Te Atianga-a-Hauiti, Ngati Konohi, and Whanau-a-Ruataupare. She is credited with paving the way for Maori women artists in the 1980s. Her exhibition Wahine Toa: Women in Maori myth launched her career when it toured the country in 1984.

Largely self taught, Kahukiwa has developed a distinctive style that expresses Maori experience in New Zealand and Maori cultural and societal concerns.

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