PoriPori, Te Pura and Awarua; Porirua taniwha

PoriPori is our other Porirua taniwha. He was chased out of the Tauranga area by Te Pura, who took dragon form. Te Pura became tired of PoriPori killing villagers under Te Pura’s protection. The chase went north around the Coromandel, across Auckland, and down the Taranaki coast until PoriPori spotted an opening in the coast by Mana Island.

The conflict continued in Porirua harbour, with PoriPori’s tail thrashing out channels and landforms. Te Pura was victorious and went back to Tauranga. PoriPori felt whakama (shame) and couldn’t follow, he remains sulking in the Pauatahanui arm. Some even say PoriPori gave his name to the harbour (rua=2 as well as storepit).

Full story at http://tauranga.kete.net.nz/en/tauranga_moana_tauranga_whenua/topics/show/514-traditional-story-poripori

I’ve depicted PoriPori as having 2 heads, based on ancient Maori etchings in a cave near Timaru and in traditional Maori colours of black and red. Te Pura is based on the Manaia taniwha.

Awarua o Porirua is in the background – that story is at http://eng.mataurangamaori.tki.org.nz/Support-materials/Te-Reo-Maori/Maori-Myths-Legends-and-Contemporary-Stories/Awarua-the-taniwha-of-Porirua

The landscape is cartoon and bold, which seemed to suit the subject. The view is from above Mana/Camborne suburb looking south to Porirua City on the right.

Oils on canvas 24″x36″. Exhibited at Porirua Museum, Pataka  June 2013.


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