Paemanu: Ngāi Tahu Contemporary Visual Arts

To cultivate a vibrant Ngāi Tahu visual culture for future generations by exploring Ngāi Tahutanga through contemporary visual art.

Ko wai mātou? Who are we?

Paemanu: Ngāi Tahu Contemporary Visual Arts was formed by a group of established Ngāi Tahu contemporary visual art professionals, dedicated to advancing Ngāi Tahu visual culture through creative and innovative artistic expression.

Paemanu is independent of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu but supports and confirms the initiatives and aspirations of our iwi and hapū.

Through the communication of ideas, values and beliefs by visual means, our Ngāi Tahu artists are advocates of fundamental cultural values including whakapapa and wairua. We believe that contemporary visual art practice is a way to engage, investigate, and celebrate Ngāi Tahutanga.

Ngāi Tahu Iwi

Ngāi Tahu is the iwi, or tribal group, of the southern islands of New Zealand – Te Waipounamu. Ngāi Tahu whānau can trace their ancestry back to the tribe’s founder Tahu Pōtiki, son of Paikea, who originally landed in the Bay of Plenty area.
The first people to arrive in the southern islands, migrating here from Hawaiki, were a people known as Waitaha. They arrived here under the leadership of Rākaihautū and Waitaha explored and inhabited the South Island.
The second wave of migration was undertaken by the descendants of Whatu Māmoe who came down from the North Island’s east coast. These descendants came to be known as Kāti Māmoe and, merging with the resident Waitaha, took authority over Te Waipounamu.
Ngāi Tahu are the third and largest wave of Māori migration to move to the South Island, arriving over two generations from the North Island’s east coast. Ngāi Tahu integrated with the existing South Island people through intermarriage and treaties. They also learned the traditions and customs of these tribes and by the mid eighteenth century a common allegiance to Ngāi Tahu was forged.  Within Ngāi Tahu there are five primary hapū (sub-tribes) being Kāti Kurī, Ngāti Irakehu, Kāti Huirapa, Ngāi Tūāhuriri and Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki.

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