Go to Te Papa's website Ngā Toko Rima's homepage



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The Ngā Toko Rima exhibition was on display at Te Papa between 2003 and 2005.

Ngā Toko Rima has several layers of meaning – five fingernails of fire obtained by Maui, five fingers of the hand that moulds the clay, five unique artists with a common philosophy.

This exhibition honoured the powerful and innovative work of the foundation artists of Ngā Kaihanga Uku, the Māori clayworkers’ collective: Baye Riddell, Manos Nathan, Colleen Urlich, Wi Taepa, and Paerau Corneal.

Māori creation stories of fire, water, and earth provide the foundation for their work. Innovation grows out of tradition. Carved koauau (flutes), exquisitely decorated waka kakano (seed pots), and dramatic works inspired by ancient funerary chests stand alongside elegant contemporary interpretations of female deities and the Christian crucifixion symbols.