This artwork was done by Hinerangitoariari (Winifred Margaret Belcher, née Foley) from Te Arawa tribe Ngāti Uenukukōpako. It depicts the god Whiro – a personified form of sickness, disease and death. Māori believed that sickness and disease often had spiritual roots. The woman between Whiro’s legs is the goddess of death, Hinenui-te-pō, described by the artist as the ‘mother of mortality’.
Courtesy of Winifred Belcher.
Using this item
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Acrylic on board by Hinerangitoariari (Winifred Belcher nee Foley)
Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.