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  • Writer's pictureTheresa Reihana

KARANGA RUA Resounding Call

Updated: Oct 5, 2019

Karanga, to weave togeather

This is a joint exhibition of work by myself (paint) and Yvonne Tana (Uku clay). It is currently on show at Kings Theatre Kawakawa till October. Open Wednesday - Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm

KARANGA RUA (resounding call) refers to the call to manuhiri on the marae. This act can only be performed by a woman.

Yvonne had previously had a stroke and I had just completed my chemo for cancer. We met and discussed some of the challenges we faced during our rehabilitation. The emotional and spiritual effect which was as life changing as the physical. It involved a realignment of perception. Values, goals.

I was deeply affected by the passing of friends and people whom I knew had be diagnosed about the same time as me. Why was I here and they were not? An awareness of my mortality increased need to recognise and repair the world for my kids.

My time here is a reprieve. Enabling my children is a priority. Prioritizing my workload so I can spend time supporting environmental kaupapa.

We all die. We are obligated to lead a good but reasonably challenging life. If it was all smooth sailing we would not achieve our potential. This I understand. Be sustained by Papatuanuku and care for her in return for the future generations.

I have based my work on this poem I wrote while recovering from the chemo.

Yvonne and I at the gallery

The Work


These 3 artworks are the focal point of this collection of paintings. Hinenuitepo is in the centre with a kaitiaki in mourning flanking each side.

Hinenuitepo sits on my shoulder and she is not unwelcome. She is depicted standing on the threshold between Te Ao Marama and Te Ao Wairua.

Piwakawaka the fantail was the culprit whose laughter woke Hinenuitepo and resulted in the death of Maui. His attempt to kill her so that man could have everlasting life failed. The moral of the story and there are always morals, is that man can’t and shouldn’t live forever. Mankind seems to want everything he can’t have.




Huia Beak

I thought a lot about the specific crisis the world is facing. It was not death because that is imminent and unavoidable. I realised that it was the damage to our connecting life-force, the mauri and the nature in which we destroy it. Our unsustainable methods of utilising natural resources and how we engage and connect to each other. We kill for trinkets that then become insignificant. They have no mana.

These two kaitiaki are holding jewellery created in this way. The gold was ripped from the earth, the Huia and Tiger killed for a body part. Not to eat, wasted.

Tiger Claw

Please don't copy and publish my work, contact me, Nga mihi Theresa

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