Tangata Whenua Art Exhibit

On display in the Lodge at the motel are twenty pieces of art.  The collection is entitled “Tangata Whenua”.


The People of the Land.  New Zealand Officially Commissioned project number 2,406 to mark the 150th year celebration of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.  

A collection of Maori Portraits by Shona Hammond Boys QSM, which toured New Zealand 1990 and 1992 as a Queen Elizabeth 11 Arts Council Project.  The exhibition avoided the commercial gallery and art scene and travelled from marae to marae with the occasional museum visit.  The artist was invited as artist in residence on Waitangi marae and visited many maraes studying the people who gave their essence to this work.  

“Maori embody in their culture and being, a oneness with the environment which needs to be understood by the rest of humanity.  I found ancestors calling from every mountain and deep forest and a silent people who listened, heard and understood.  I was blessed with wairua, aroha and abundance.” 

Each of the powerfully composite identities is associated with a Maori myth and the sense of agelessness, timelessness of these images can only be understood through the Maori concept of time.  They reflect the colours and features of the bush landscape with a sadness and strength which cries out for the land, waters and forests of Aotearoa.

The works attracted international attention and requests for tours came from many countries.  It was decided to rest the works until a suitable national venue was found.

Shona Hammond Boys was born in Pureora Forest raised in Te Kuiti Rotorua and Te Awamutu and now lives as an artist in Opotiki.  She has travelled the world and set up the New Zealand Childrens Art Houses.  Please No Photographing.



Tangata Whenue Catalogue

Tangata Whenue Descriptions and names of Paintings

Haumia – Tiketike The Guardian of the humble, but necessary bracken rhizome.  There are many legends about spirits cloaked in ferns who appear to help or hinder travellers through the bush.  Haumia – Tiketike is so tasteless but so necessary to survival.

Hine-Nui-Te-Po The great Lady of the night or death.  The goddess of death.  Perhaps one of the most revered legendary figures and respected today is the being who sees in darkness and death.  Many legendary warriors have been saved from being snatched from her clutches by their bravery.

Hinerau The leaf girl.  Collecting the leaves for medicine was a role given to a chosen girl who was learning from her grandmother Kuia about the cures and properties of the plants for healing.

Arohirohi The Mirage to confuse or deceive enemies a girl was sent out to distract the warriors and fool them away from the pa.

Pa-Oro The Echo The grapevine across the high volcanic mountains was by an echo system.  Sometimes messages were sent to trick enemies and prevent danger to travellers.

Maui-Mohio The wise.  There is a difference between big head and a big man.  The big head is loud and egotistic.  The big man is wise.

Hine-Wai The personification of misty rain.  The fog and mist amongst the New Zealand ranges has given rise to many mystical stories about creatures who appear to save or slaughter travellers.

Pihanga Gentle main Mountain.  All the warrior Mountains loved her.  The rolling bush covered hills are easier to hide in and to move in than the high mountains. 

Putauaki Boisterous Mountain always ready for a fight.  Earthquakes and Volcanic eruptions have given rise legendary stories about hills which rock and roll in anger or rage.

Taranaki Ploughed a might furrow down which the wanganui River flows with his tears.  The separation of Taranaki from the Ruapehu is told as a story of a run-away child separated from its parents.  “I shall go to the setting place of the sun.”

Hine-I-Tauira Pattern Girl.  The keeper of the kowhaiwhai patterns of wood blocks (for rafters and ornamental uses) was an honored job.

Tama-O-Hoi Mysterious being who caused eruptions.

Te Ruahine-Mata-Maori The old Woman with the ordinary face She was unlike other ogresses or witches who were notable for their repulsive appearances for she had the face of an ordinary Maori.  She was slain by Paowa.

Tane Mahuta Mighty father of the forest.  Silent, strong, unmoving father of all things that love freedom and light.

Ngawai The Water Fall.  Clothed in mist and beauty.  Magic to look at, but dangeous to come close to.  She makes an alluring sound to draw you in. 

Rona The woman in the moon.  Expelled to the mood for angering the Gods with a wrongful act of hot temper she sits there now disconsolate.

Rohe The ferry woman.  This is the spirit person who caries you to the other  side.  A mythological figure who may pass you over from life to death.  Maori bodies were sometimes put in a canoe covered with flaxes and pushed out to sea to the world of light.

Patupaiarehe Fairy’s imaginary supernatural beings or spirits assuming human form whether male or female and who meddle for good or ill in the affairs of mankind.

Maui-i-Toa The suntamer.  A whimsical demi-God of Polynesia who tried to capture the sun Tama-nui-Te Ra and got burnt.

Hine-Titama The girl of the dawn.  The world of light, the rising of the sun and the setting sun are very important features in Maori mythology.  Little is know about that mysterious abode to which all people must go and seeing the dawn is always a celebration especially for the old and sick.



Shona pictured above and Melis pictured below.

Melis Art can be bought and downloaded at www.istock.com.  Search word Melis.


Melis a nz artist, unrecognized while living, left original works of art to Shona Hammond Boys to support the New Zealand Children’s Art House Foundation.  His art of New Zealand in original and print are for sale online.  
Melis was a deeply thinking man, rich in love and joy, and rich in sorrow and grief.  As a boy he was caught up in the end of the Second World War in his native Freisland.  There he witnessed the pain of a minority culture fighting for its language and identity.  Melis bore the savage scars of polio which left him limping life long.  By the age of ten his family came to live in New Zealand and Melis identified as an artist.  His family wanted perfection in his art as the Dutch traditional style dictated.  Melis resented authoritarian attitudes and relished individuality.  His family warned there was no money in art and Melis became a loner.
Melis had a photographic memory, considerable ability with languages and a deep curiosity about the taboos and boundaries which humans structure around themselves both as individuals and as cultures.  He was fascinated with the human mind and body and with the diversity of world cultures.  He was a veracious reader and an addit photographer.
In 1996, following one of the many surgical operations Melis endured, he read in the local paper that volunteer help was needed to complete the first Children’s Art House.  He enlisted, fascinated and gave 16 hours service a day on crutches to the building of this house. 
Melis was a very hard physical worker.  He became Shona Hammond Boys greatest advocate and drove the length of New Zealand addressing council meetings, rotary, service and arts groups about the house children require for art in their lives.  Melis was a clear thinking, forthright and charismatic speaker.  He had a personal code of living the simplest form of everything. 
He wanted no recognition, and to have no name.  When Melis died in 2003 there were 20 Childrens art clubs in New Zealand, and many children’s lives had been enriched by attending these.

Melis left some fine portraits and maori artwork.  He was affectionately given the Maori name of Iti Wae Wae (leg little) and had made a deep bond with the Maori people he spoke for.  Melis also left a written 100 year vision plan for the business supporting arm for the Foundation he was so devoted to.  He was unrecognized in his time, but created beautiful arts in the world and was the Father of a creative revolution for children’s creativity in New Zealand.

Shona Hammond Boys, QSM and famous nz artist Melis has dedicated this page to his life work.  She was awarded the USA Presidents Volunteer Service Award for contribution to Child Art.  She is the Patron of the Children’s Art Houses of America.

Melis created 800 original portraits and maori art.  Support the Childrens’ Art Houses of New Zealand through Melis Art.