Maori Rock Art Photographs – Takiroa – October 2009


Some limestone outcrops at Takiroa, near Duntroon in Central Otago have a number of Maori rock art drawings, which date to the 19th century and on Sunday I was lucky enough to go on a tour with the friends of the Christchurch Art Gallery to see them first hand.

From the mountains to the sea – an ancient pathway…. Takiroa is a significant landmark in the traditions of Ngai Tahu Whanui. The rock shelter lies on an ancient pathway following the Waitaki River from the mountains to the sea. The headwaters of the Waitaki River are fed from ka roimata o Aoraki (the tears of Aoraki) – the ancient mountain of Ngai Tahu Whanui. The limestone outcrops at Takiroa are said to be a legacy of Tamatea-Pokai-Whenua, a great explorer who lit fires as he walked the land. Te ahi tapu o Tamatea (the sacred fires of Tamatea) cooled to form mounds of pale white ash such as the outcrop at Takiroa.

Here is a montage of images I captured on Sunday of the rock art, the beautiful textures of the limestone outcrops and an image of contemporary rock art – (someone has scratched their names in the hard surface of the limestone rock!). The view the tribe had from their shelter would have been very different back then, but they would have been able to see for miles from their shelter high above. This trip held special significance to me as I feel it enhanced the Mauri Ora studying I have been doing. Tihei Mauri Ora – I breathe therefore I am!

Thanks for visiting!

Deanna Gracie

2 responses to “Maori Rock Art Photographs – Takiroa – October 2009

  1. Very interesting, Deanna, and a nice and informative photo montage. I found the little sparrow on the other photo, – but I had to use a monocle, they are so very good at hiding themself πŸ™‚

  2. Thanks Birgitte,
    I must admit I thought the photo montage would have been a bit bigger and the details easier to see!
    Thanks for your comments.
    Deanna x

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