Story: Tauranga Moana

‘Tu’ by Kelcy Taratoa

‘Tu’ by Kelcy Taratoa

This work by Ngāi Te Rangi artist Kelcy Taratoa, located at Massey University in Palmerston North, refers to the long struggles of the ancestors of Ngāi Te Rangi for a place to stand. Pushed out of Ōpōtiki, they moved around the coast, and their great chief Te Rangihouhiri was killed in battle near Little Waihī. His people then adopted the name Ngāi Te Rangi and eventually won a foothold in Tauranga Moana, the original home of their ancestor, Whaene. ‘Tū’ means ‘stand’, and Kelcy Taratoa explains that as he considered the historical events of the forced migration he ‘began to comprehend the magnitude of this astounding journey and history’; the word ‘Tū’ captures their greatness and ‘their determination to stand’.

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Massey University
Reference: Te Putahi a Toi
Mixed media by Kelcy Taratoa

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How to cite this page:

Te Awanuiārangi Black, 'Tauranga Moana - The Tauranga tribes', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/802/tu-by-kelcy-taratoa (accessed 8 December 2019)

Story by Te Awanuiārangi Black, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 1 Mar 2017