September 27, 2022
Pou put Tūāhuriri tupuna and mokopuna on landscape
Ngāi Tahu says three pou whenua marking the entrance of the Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area on the road to Arthur’s Pass offer a new way to see the landscape.
The pou were crafted by Fayne Robinson and Riki Manuel out of the limestone that makes up the formation, also known as Castle Rock.
They depict Tawhitinui from the ancestral waka Ārai Te Uru, who became Kura Tawhiti, as well as Tūrākautahi and Tāne Tiki, the two sons of Tūāhuriri who claimed the area because they wanted access to its resources, including the green feathers of the kakapo.
Joseph Hullen from Ngāi Tūāhuriri says the previous Department of Conservation signage had nothing that spoke to his whakapapa.
“”There’s) all of these images of early European settlers and people of significance but nothing about us. Now we have these opportunities to put these markers, put these poi and other whakairo on the landscape so our tamariki mokopuna start to see themselves in the landscape and they look up to see these things and their world view changes a little bit,” he says.
Kura Tawhiti is one of 14 toponui or culturally significant sites on public conservation land across Te Waipounamu where
Ngāi Tahu mana and rangatiratanga is being acknowledged.