He purakau tenei (This is the legend)

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INVERCARGILL carver Greg Houkamau chisels into a carving which represents the Maori legend of Tane seeking Nga Kete o te Wananga three baskets of knowledge, at the Invercargill Public Library on Tuesday.

The legend says while on his way to heaven to collect the baskets, Tane has to pass through 12 realms while battling his brother Whiro along the way.

Houkamau said he had been carving for about 30 years and had learned the art from master carver Oti Murray, of Bluff.

“Carving is important to us as it talks about our (Maori) history,” Houkamau said.

The carving, which is expected to take four weeks to complete, would be installed at the Invercargill Public Library. Houkamau wanted to acknowledge his employer Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu which had allowed him time to undertake the carving.

Houkamau will be carving again today at the library between 1pm and 4pm as part of its Te Wiki o te Reo Maori (Maori Language Week) events.

Photo: Karen Pasco

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