MAORI CREATION STORY: Indigenous artist, Marcus Winter, tells the Māori creation story using Sand Art. In the Māori worldview, the world began with the violent separation of Ranginui, the Sky Father, and Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother, by their children, including Tūmatauenga (similar to Kū), Tāne (Kāne), Rongo (Lono, god of cultivated food), and Tangaroa (Kanaloa, the god of the sea).
The Amazing Life-Cycle of Kihikihi (Cicada). In the novel Potiki, the character Toko says of the cicada, "They are already old when they are born. They leave their old lives clinging to a tree and in their new lives they are given glass wings. Their eyes are blood-red jewels. They fly up to drum in the sun and birds drop down from the sky." What might this transformative creature represent?
How Maui Fished Up The North and South Islands (Maori Version). In the Editor's Note to the Patricia Grace's novel Potiki, Vilsoni Hereniko explains that "Potiki" has two meanings: youngest child, who in this novel, is Tokowaru-i-te-Marama (Toko) and Maui-Potiki, the demigod Maui-tikitiki-a-Taranga. Some of the events of Maui-Potiki parallel those of Toko. Familiarize yourself with the myth before reading Part One of the novel.
TĀ MOKO is the permanent body and face marking by Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. Since 1990 there has been a resurgence in the practice of tā moko for both men and women, as a sign of cultural identity and a reflection of the general revival of the language and culture.
The KORU, which is often used in Māori art as a symbol of creation, is based on the shape of an unfurling fern frond. Its circular shape conveys the idea of perpetual movement, and its inward coil suggests a return to the point of origin. The koru therefore symbolises the way in which life both changes and stays the same.
Patricia Grace is a key figure in the emergence of Māori fiction in English since the 1970s and has made a significant contribution to contemporary New Zealand literature. Exploring themes such as loss, isolation and family, she portrays a variety of Māori people and ways of life, and is notable for her versatile narrative and descriptive techniques. Her best-known novel, Potiki (1986), won the New Zealand Book Award for Fiction and has been translated into several languages.