"Mana Waka, working title Canoe, is a feature-length documentary made to launch New Zealand's 1990 centennial celebrations. The documentary has a fascinating history. Princess Te Puea Herangi of the Turangawaewae Marae, Ngauruawahia, was a great Maori leader committed to work that would uphold, and be used for the benefit of, the Maori people. During the late 1930s she conceived the idea of celebrating the 1940 centennial of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi by re-building the seven wakataua/war canoes of the Great Fleet, According to legend these canoes had journeyed from Hawaiki to Aotearoa some 25 generations previously. Princess Te Puea asked stills photographer R.G.H. (Jim) Manley, who had not previously made a film, to film the re-building, and he did so over a period of three years. Up north in the Puketi Forest, a great kauri tree was felled for the building of the Nga-toki-matawhaorua canoe which is now housed at Waitangi. Two totara trees from the Oruanui Forest provided the timber for the canoes that were carved and built at Turangawaewae."
(Helen Martin, 8 July 2011, Onfilm Magazine)
Fig.1 Still from "Mana Waka": NZ 1990 Documentary prod co Nga Kaitiaki o Te Puea Estate and the Turangawaewae Marae Trust dir Merata Mita camera R.G.H. Manly (filmed 1937 - 1940) ed Annie Collins kai korero/narrator Tukuroirangi Morgan film preservation Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga The New Zealand Film Commission, Ngā Kaitiaki Ō Ngā Taonga Whitiāhua The New Zealand Film Archive, NFU Laboratory, NFU Sound finecut Nga Kaitiaki o Te Marae o Turangawaewae sound Merata Mita, David Madigan, Chris Verberg, Mike Hedges, Annie Collins. 85 minutes.
"The [Aotearoa New Zealand] Maori origin myth describes a world of darkness locked in the unyielding embrace of Ranganui, the Sky Father, and Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother with all their children (sea, forest, land, mountains, wind and rain) trapped between them. This inertia was shattered by Tane Mahuta, god of the forest, when he forcefully separated Papa and Rangi, thus liberating his siblings as well as their future descendants, freeing the light, and catalyzing the procreation of all life forms. Processes of differentiation and proliferation were then set in motion bound by mauri, the life force, imparting character (so that birds are birds and fish are fish), and uniting the physical and spiritual."
(Suzanne MacAulay, 'Field Aesthetics', Gathering/Place: Folklore, Aesthetic Ecologies, and the Public Domain)
Fig.1. Chris Matatahi & Peter Plumb. 'Maui's Dwelling Place', 1 metre tall. The whalebone is 79 cm long and 40 cm wide at the furthest points. The greenstone face is 21 cm tall and 13 cm wide at their furthest points. The base is NZ kauri wood and greenstone. Three paua pearls are inlaid in the upper area of the whalebone.