Story: Te whānau tamariki – pregnancy and birth

'Mana wahine'

'Mana wahine'

'Mana wahine' by Warren Pōhatu shows Papatūānuku (top) and Ranginui (centre) with Tāne below them breathing life into Hineahuone. She was shaped from the rich red soils (kurawaka) of Papatūānuku, the act which began the whakapapa of te ira wahine (the female element). Tāne said that when the body had served its purpose, it would return to Papatūānuku. In Māori thought, humans begin with the land and end with the land.

Using this item

Private collection
Artwork by Warren Pohatu, 2007

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Hope Tupara, 'Te whānau tamariki – pregnancy and birth - Birth in Māori tradition', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/27615/mana-wahine (accessed 18 July 2019)

Story by Hope Tupara, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Jun 2017