Māori Mystical Art The Sacred Māori Scrolls

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  Page 18

Te Iho Rangi

Te Iho Rangi is a modern meeting house and is where Tiki spent a great deal of his time learning, designing and painting kowhaiwhai. The image of the inside of the house shows the placement of all the heke panels or rafters on the ceiling with the poutokomanawa centre pole in place. When entering the house you are first presented with colour particularly the purple carpet. It can be overwhelming at first, but eventually it has a soothing and calming effect.

Some say that the traditional colours of Māori were red, black and white. This may have been because the clays and dyes of those colours were readily available and abundant. What appeared to be the most widely used colours became tradition, but this is far from the truth especially in Te Iho Rangi.

Usually in traditional meeting houses the design theme would be dictated by only one or two kowhaiwhai designs. But in the house of Te Iho Rangi what is obvious at first glance is the seven distinctive heke designs. These seven heke represents the seven rays of Uenuku (Rainbow God) each ray is a certain vibration, energy and sound wave which manifests itself as colour.

In modern meeting houses you will come across an array of various kowhaiwhai patterns of all shapes and sizes. However most could be said to be variations of the core traditional patterns previously shown.

Little has changed today regarding where kowhaiwhai is placed such as on the rafter’s panels including the ridge pole which runs the full length of the meeting house. The ridge pole or Tāhuhu of Te Iho Rangi has a total of nine kowhaiwhai patterns including eight carvings linked together to form one continuous design. These designs are deliberate and represent the great eons of time including the past, present and future.

The ceiling is a snapshot image of the entire cosmos with a series of kowhaiwhai designs linking up the entire hierarchy of cosmic and human archetypes. This includes all the known species where humanity is only one branch connected to Te Rākau Ora or The Tree of Life.