The story of Mataroa and Niwareka


The story of Mataora recounts how he fell in love and married a tūhere (spirit) named Niwareka, from Rarohenga (the underworld). 

One day, he hit Niwareka, who fled this violence and returned to the underworld to join her people. Mataora followed her to the underworld, consumed by remorse. There he not only eventually found redemption, but was trained in the art of tā moko or facial tattooing. He returned to Te Ao Tūroa (the natural world) with Niwareka and with a facial tattoo. This is said to be the origin for Māori facial tattooing (from Te Ara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand).

Video Credit: Hika Taewa 

An animation he created as part of a University project.. An adaptation of an ancient Maori Narrative about the Legend of Mataora and Niwareka, who were responsible for bringing the art of Ta moko and Taniko to the world.

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Monday, 15 July 2024

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