Breath of Life

Original painting by Sofia Minson

Digital design + hand painted acrylic on canvas. 1230 x 2005mm including frame.

These two tui are exchanging hā or breath of life in the sacred act of hongi, a traditional Māori greeting.
The angles of their bodies, from their tails up towards their heads, form a triangular shape with a geometric pattern at the apex. This is a tāniko design, traditionally woven into the borders of fine garments. Its placement suggests that there is most power at the meeting point. The intersection of opposites. Here is where the material and spirit worlds fuse and a non-dual state of awareness resides.

The hongi is done with reverence. The most sacred part of the body to Māori is the face and head. Slowly two faces draw near to each other, moving respectfully through each other’s energy fields to meet in the touching of noses. The hā or soul of both beings intermingles in such an intimate space.

“Ka mate. Ka ora.”
“It is death. It is life.”

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