Te Waka


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Print sizes and editions 

  • Regular museum archival paper print - 660 x 613mm
    (limited to 275)
  • Large museum archival paper print - 940 x 873mm
    (limited to 195)
  • Extra Large museum canvas print - 1142 x 1060mm
    (limited to 175)

Your unique limited edition fine art print

  1. Sofia Minson creates your exclusive signed print
  2. We ship for $25 in NZ and from $50 internationally
  3. Your artwork arrives rolled, ready to be framed - do you need help? Request framing guidance

Original painting SOLD, oil on canvas, 1400 x 1300mm, 2007

The story of Te Waka

'Te Waka' was inspired by the legend of Kupe, the great Polynesian navigator. Kupe is said to have journeyed from Hawaiiki, the mythical ancestral homeland of the Maori, to become the first person to discover Aotearoa. Matahorua (also known as Matawhaorua) was the name of his great ocean going vessel and it is pictured in this painting with an intricately carved bow piece. On their voyage from Hawaiiki, the Matahorua's crew travelled for some time before Kupe's wife Hine Te Aparangi sighted the shores of New Zealand. The land appeared to lie beneath a great cloud. Because of this, they named the islands Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud.

The solitary, ancient waka is depicted in this work resting upon the shores of Aotearoa after its immense journey. Graceful migratory birds - kōtuku (white herons) and albatross - fly towards the shore.  

There is a whakataukī (Māori proverb) which says "He kōtuku rerenga tahi" or "a white heron's flight is seen but once." This emphasises the rarity of an occasion. Here, the kōtuku mark the arrival of a very rare and sacred visitor, one who would change the course of the whenua (land) forever. 

As Kupe and the crew of the Matahorua leave the waka to explore the newly discovered land, this painting gives the sense that the spirit and memory of their great voyage remains.

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Sofia Minson Paintings | New Zealand Artwork

SKU: 175 TAGS: Regular archival paper, Large archival paper, Extra large canvas

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