Raranga Rerenga Rauropi: Weaving Biodiversity Community Art Project

Weaving Biodiversity Art Project:

Artist Tanya Ruka is leading a collaborative project with local community gardens & gardeners. Creating a series of 3 digital weavings promoting Te Ao Māori concepts of Manākitanga, Kaitiakitanga, Māramatanga.

Manākitanga is a digital weaving of HD video footage of the soil in the whau.

This is one of the most important Te Ao Māori principles as it builds strong whanau family and community ties. This is achieved by extending aroha love, hospitality and mutual respect. When we do this all parties involved are elevated through humility and giving.

This concept is reflected in the ethos of community and shared gardens across nga whenua the land.

In Maori creation stories Tane Mahuta God of the forest created Hineahuoneone the first woman from the soil of Papatuanuku. This is why soil is considered sacred and ceremonial rituals of respect were performed during the planting of Mara kai food gardens to feed the tribal community.

Kaitiakianga is a HD video digital weaving of the tree and plant life in the whau.

Kaitiakitanga means guardianship, stewardship or protection of the environment. Tiaki means to guard, people, groups or a living being can be a kaitiaki guardian. The Atua or Gods were the original guardians e.g., Tane Mahuta, God of the Forest plants and beings is the original guardian of the forest. Tane Mahuta is also the name given to the giant kauri tree in the Waipoua forest in Northland.

Traditional matauranga Maori is centred around the natural world and a deep connection to the rhythms and cycles of the seasons. The Mauri, life force of the environment was preserved through tikanga, correct procedures, māra kai, food gardens were in use for only 3 growing cycles and then left to regenerate for 7 to 10 years.

The growing and harvesting cycles were maintained following the phases of the moon, or Maramataka, which is the Maori lunar calendar.

Māramatanga is a digital weaving created using HD video aerial footage of Whau river.

This digital weaving depicts the rising and falling of the water cycle, the rain falls and the mist rises. In Māori creation stories, Papatūānuku (Earthmother) and Ranginui (Skyfather) were separated by their children, namely Tāne Mahuta (God of the Forest). When it rains Ranginui is crying for Papatūānuku and mist rising signals the sighing of Papatūānuku longing for him.

Whakataukī (Māori proverbs) and allegorical creation stories talk about the importance of continued learning and striving for knowledge as the pathway towards enlightenment, it is represented by the triangle in this digital weaving. Traditional raranga (weaving) depicts this as the stepped pattern moving upwards, known as Poutama.