news
terragraphy
projects
stromboli
jallikattu
volcanos
sumatra
segantini
puja
maka wakan
menabe
mission
london - paris
rice
arles (van gogh)
rarámuri
pirosmani
europe
songlines
terroir
shoa
sinai
icefire
go west
amazonas
kailas
africa
aotearoa
the terragraphics
the excavating sites
the creation
te ara pounamu
ruaumoko
kokowai
the terragraphics
the concept
maukoroa
the myth
the book
the portfolio
the work
manawatu
269
the journey
the edition
the work
london
amberg yellow
wine
salt
l'ocre
elephants in snow
todesstreifen
atlantis
dresden
værøy
siena brown
the alpes
the berlin wall
99 photographs
installations
exhibitions
books
editions
texts
galleries
links
vita
contact

aotearoa - kokowai - the concept



There was much blood shed during the separation of Papa-tu-a-nuku (Earth) and Rangi-nui (Heaven), the primeval parents. The blood of Rangi-nui is sometimes seen as a red glow in the sky. The Maori call it Papakura and they look to it for signs and omens. The blood of Papa-tu-a-nuku, the Mother Earth, flowed into the earth itself and became red clay. This is the origin of KOKOWAI, the Sacred Red of the Maori.


It is utilized in a number of traditional ceremonies. When applied in conjunction with a Karakia it becomes tabu. The Kokowai was burned in a fire, ground into a fine powder and stirred with shark oil to make paint. This paint was then used as a stain for Rakau wood carvings and for the painted patterns on the rafters of the community gathering houses known as Kowhaiwhai.


The soil for five of these terragraphies comes from the Waipoua forest in the North of Aotearoa. This forest, home of the Te Roroa, contains some of the oldest Kauri trees, which can date back 2000 years and can have a circumference of up to 25 m. The five remaining samples originate from the east and west coast of Waipounamu, the name given to the southern island of New Zealand by the Kai Tahu.