Four figures, four voyages
The four figures are all representative of different voyaging narratives. Starting from the left is Ngāti Tūwharetoa ancestor Ngatoroirangi, who travelled on the Arawa waka from his ancestral homeland of Hawaiki. Upon his arrival in Aotearoa, he journeyed inland to Tongariro in the central North Island. Struck by the coldness of the snow, Ngatoroirangi called to his sisters Kuiwai and Haungaroa to send fire. They obliged and engulfed the region from Whakaari to Tongariro in geothermal activity.
Two ancestors of the Tainui waka – Whakaotirangi and Hoturoa – feature in Arapere’s next figure. Whakaotirangi carried kūmara seeds to Aotearoa and propagated many plants. Her husband Hoturoa navigated the Tainui waka.