Maori 'Manaia' 'Whitu'. Limited Edition Print By John Cross 1996
Maori 'Manaia' 'Whitu'. Limited Edition Print By John Cross 1996
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Maori 'Manaia' 'Whitu'. Limited Edition Print By John Cross 1996

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Item details

Vintage from before 2000

Limited art print edition (182/200) 1996, by New Zealand artist John Cross. Titled 'Manaia' 'Whitu'. 'Whitu' is Maori for 'seven'. Measures about 11 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches. Signed and numbered by artist. Accompanying provenance sheet also signed by artist and includes stamp: Best Of Maori Tourism, 71 Fenton Street, PO Box 6048, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua, PH/FAX 07 347 4226 GST 61-987-887. Overall very good condition with tape remnants verso where attached to original matte. Here is a wonderful tattoo template.

The Manaia is a mythological creature in Māori culture, and is a common motif in Māori carving and jewellery. It is an ancient mythical being with a birds head and a human form. It is said to be the messenger between the earthly world of mortals and the domain of the spirits. The Manaia is a holder of great spiritual energy and is a guardian against evil. The Manaia is usually depicted as having the head of a bird and the tail of a fish and the body of a man, though it is sometimes depicted as a bird, a serpent, or a human figure in profile. Other interpretations include a seahorse and a lizard. The word manaia is cognate with the founding Samoan term fa'amanaia, and relevant to the Niuean fakamanaia, both meaning to make a decoration or embellishment.

The Manaia is traditionally believed to be the messenger between the earthly world of mortals and the domain of the spirits, and its symbol is used as a guardian against evil. In this form, it is usually represented in a figure-of-eight shape, the upper half culminating in a bird-like beak. This form was also widely used in designs of door and window lintels and other architectural features, as well as in ceremonial hafts of weapons. A study of Māori carving suggests that every naturalistic figure there is an equivalent Manaia form which can be seen as a distorted profile-face version of the equivalent full-face figure. It may be that the Manaia represents some spiritual or inner facet of the full face figure. (Thanks to Wikipedia)