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Ru, ancestor and navigator of the first arrival of people to Aitutaki was aided by four to five of his brothers. Originally tasked by local ariki to escape the island of Tubuai (Austral islands) during tribal warfare and famine, the voyage was to safely deliver the cargo of Pa te Pairu - daughters of high rank (princesses) and a number of others, to safety in new lands.
After embarking on their journey Ru’s vaka , the Ngapuariki, struck stormy seas which lasted for a period of some time. Ru then called called out to god of the sea, Tangaroa, to clear away the storm clouds so that he may see the stars and find the land awaiting their arrival.
This triptych is bordered by the raging swells to the bottom of the frame and the clearing sky lit by the moon and stars over the dark shadow of Maunga Pu , Aitutaki’s mountain, on the far left.
Not long after settling their precious human cargo on Aitutaki, Ru’s brothers reminded him that they were tasked to continue seeking out new lands.
Ru refused to leave Aitutaki so his brothers restored and renamed the Ngapuariki, and continued on with their goal, landing on the east coast of Aotearoa’s north motu (island) and remained there.
Materials: Stretched Canvas, Oil paint, varnish.
Size: 30 x 15 x 3 -Triptych