Celestial Realm Pou - Io Matua Kore Rangi-tū-hāhā


Carver: Peneamine Werohia

Realm of lo-Matua Kore, kei tua

This pouihi represents the realm of Io-Matua Kore, kei tua, (the realms beyond all other realms) and the sacred vine Tāne ascended to reach the upper realms. Through this pathway, knowledge and wisdom was gifted and brought down to mankind.

The head of the pouihi depicts Io-Matua Kore (the unseen, the eternal realms). It flows down to form a double open spiral and symbolises the two divisions of knowledge. The spiritual, and the knowledge obtained on earth - tangible and intangible.

Emerging from the uha, the female element, and spiralling down from the creative realm, are three strands which represent the three baskets of knowledge gifted to mankind. The plait symbolises the interaction of the three baskets.

The Sacred Vine

On the centre strand is the sacred vine. Tāne ascended to Te tihi o Manono (the creative realm) by climbing this vine. Tāne returned to the earthly realm with three baskets of knowledge and two sacred stones:
Huka tai (white) represents acquired knowledge.
Rehu tai (red) symbolises wisdom, the unity of the mind and spirit, which comes through life's experiences.

Tāne's journey was not without obstacles and challenges which he overcame with the help of the winds of Tawhirimatea. This is depicted by the puhoro pattern, (the elongated koru design).

Whare wānanga, (houses of learning) were established. Tohunga (priests) resided over these houses and handed down the knowledge of the spiritual and earthly realms to initiated students. They were mainly chosen from chiefly and priestly lines of descent. They in turn became the holders and guardians of knowledge.

The head at the bottom represents the tohunga. The ta-moko (tattoo) forehead design symbolises the Ipu-rangi (the retainer of knowledge) and chiefly lines of descent. The nose design symbolises tohunga status.

Our whare pukapuka, (library) is our kete wananga, (knowledge basket) a taonga (treasure) for all people from all walks of life.

Io-matua kore (the uncreated)
Io-te toi o nga rangi (supreme over all realms)
Io-matua (parent)
Io-matangaro (hidden unseen)
Io-te-wānanga (all wise)
Io-nui (almighty)
Io-te-waiora (water of life)
Io-roa (eternal)
Io-taketake (foundation of all - from which all things originate).