October 10, 2022
Glaciers hold breath of atua
A Ngai Tahu academic studying Aotearoa’s disappearing glaciers say they have a deep whakapapa connection to the land and the gods.
Orator Ron Bull from Otago Polytechnic has collaborated with scientists and artists on an online exhibition looking at the effects of climate change on glaciers in Te Waipounamu.
Haupapa: The Chilled Breath of Rakamaomao looks at Aoraki-Mount Cook’s relationship with the atua Rakamaomao – the progenitor of Tawhirimatea in the Ngai Tahu creation story.
Mr Bull says glaciers bring together all the elements created by Rakamaomao, the god of weather.
“That breath that’s encapsulated and caught in the glacier, those tiny bubbles of breath that was here before people, the breath we’ve never seen before, we’ve never experienced before, hat air that’s been caught by those many atua, those many winds that come from Rakamaomao. What do glaciers mean? Glaciers are a physical manifestation of the atua, the tears, the breath,” he says.
Haupapa: The Chilled Breath of Rakamaomao is online on the Te Tuhi contemporary art website.