For many Polynesian societies, a marae (also called malae, mala ‘e, or me ‘ae) is a sacred communal space serving both social and religious purposes. Lisa Reihana, a Māori artist of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāi Tū descent based in Auckland, New Zealand, uses photography, sound, and video to create a “digital marae” populated with ancestral figures. The deity depicted in this work is Mahuika, the goddess from whom the hero Māui obtained the secret of making fire. Typically the domain of male carvers and artists, Reihana’s conception of this deity establishes intergenerational and cross-cultural connections between contemporary portraiture and traditional Māori folklore.
overall, 2007.27_MAHUIKA_Digital Marae_Lisa_Reihana.jpg. Image courtesy of ARTPROJECTS
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