Ngā Kaihanga Uku

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Ngā Kaihanga Uku is a New Zealand collective of Māori Clayworkers. They formed in 1986 during a Ngā Puna Waihanga (Māori Artists and Writers collective) gathering, under the leadership of Baye Riddell and Manos Nathan.[1] Founding members also include Paerau Corneal, Colleen Waata Urlich and Wi Taepa.[2]

Contemporary Māori clay artists[edit]

Ngā Kaihanga Uku was formed to support the growing use of clay within Māori based art practices in the 1980s.[1] Although customary Māori society was not a ceramic culture, the intrinsic properties and physical relationship of clay being from the earth offered Māori clay artists a new avenue through which to portray Māori lives and knowledge. Hineahuone for example, who is considered to be the first human, was formed by clay at Kurawaka.[3] As Wi Taepa states, ‘Clay is more than an artistic material, it is a blood relative. Working with it requires an understanding of the genealogical links between humanity and Papatūānuku (earth).[1][4]

Selected exhibitions[edit]


  • Kedgley, H. Nicholas, D. (2013) Uku Rere: Ngā Kaihanga Uku & Beyond’’. Pataka Art + Museum, Porirua City.
  • Urlich, Colleen Waata. (2009) Nga Kaihanga Uku: National Collective of Māori Clayworkers’’ Dargaville NZ.


  1. ^ a b c Kedgley, Helen; Nicholas, Darcy (2013). Uku Rere: Ngā Kaihanga uku & Beyond. Porirua City: Pataka Art + Museum.
  2. ^ "Ngā Kaihanga Uku". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b Urlich, Colleen Waata (2009). Ngā Kaihanga Uku: National Collective of Māori Clayworkers. Dargaville: C. Urlich.
  4. ^ "Papatūānuku - the land". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Uku Rere". Toi Māori. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  6. ^ Smith, Huhana; Solomon, Oriwa; Tamarapa, Awhina; Tamati-Quenell, Megan; Heke, Norm (2007). Taiawhio II: Contemporary Māori Artists 18 new conversations. Wellington: Te Papa Press. ISBN 9780909010096.
  7. ^ McPherson, Heather; King, M; Evans, J; Nunn, M (1992). Spiral 7: a collection of lesbian art and writing from Aotearoa/New Zealand. Dunedin: Spiral. ISBN 0908896247.

External links[edit]