Rangi and Papa by Tara Lemana

Canvas Prints

Available to buy on…

Rollerball on 100gsm A5 cartridge paper.

The Maori people were the original settlers of Aotearoa (New Zealand). Their culture and history is rich and beautiful, and to this day is an important part of New Zealand’s culture. Their legends around the creation of the world and this beautiful land have always captured my imagination. This is my version of the Maori legend of Ranginui, the Sky God, and Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother. Together in each other’s embrace, no light could penetrate the world, no life could flourish. In order to bring light and life to the world, one of their sons, Tane Mahuta, God of the Forests, planted his feet on his mother, Papatuanuku, braced his shoulders against his father, Ranginui, and strained until he forced them apart, thus allowing light into the world. (This is a much abridged version of the legend, for the full – amazing! – story please visit Maori Mythology and History)
In my version, the tree represents Tane Mahuta, while Papa’s hair is the ocean and Rangi’s hair forms the clouds. Unfortunately Ranginui’s moko (facial tattoos) combined with Tane’s branches make his face a little hard to discern, but full view helps! :)
Hope you like this, thanks for looking! :)

500+ Viewings Group: 1174 views at time of submission.

Placed 1st equal with 4 votes in the Virtual Art Gallery Challenge in the First Things group, May 2009.
Placed 1st equal with 5 votes in the Primal Elements Challege on the Finks of Inks group.
Placed 8th with 3 votes in the Oil On Canvas, Paintings and Drawings of Mother Earth challenge on the First Things Group May 22, 2009.
Featured in Things That Are Black, May 28, 2009.

Roller ball on 100gsm cartridge paper.


white, black, sky, mother, tree, ink, earth, nederlands, maori, father, son, legend, tane, papatuanuku, ranginui, mahuta, tara lemana

Tara is a New Zealand artist and musician. Her primary visual medium is photography, sometimes combined with other media into mixed media works or digital works. Her portfolio is extensive and varied, including macro photography, digital fantasy works, paintings, portraiture and nature photography. Tara is available for commissioned artworks as well as client portraiture sessions, please contact her on for more information or visit her website at

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  • Deborah Holman
    Deborah Holmanover 5 years ago

    great design I really like it

  • Thanks so much Deborah! I’m pleased you like it!! :)

    – Tara Lemana

  • BGlatzeder
    BGlatzederover 5 years ago

    Amazing … took me a while to find the faces, too. Makes it more interesting :-))) well done!

  • Thanks love!! :) xx

    – Tara Lemana

  • Teresa Zieba
    Teresa Ziebaover 5 years ago

    Great design Tara. Can you add a lttle bit about the location of Maori coastal settlement. Not everybody knows New Zealand history so saying something like Maori legend means nothing to most. Thank you.

  • Thanks Teresa. I’m unsure what you mean about linking the location of Maori coastal settlement into this design, I’ve included more about Maori history into my blurb as well as a link to a site that does a wonderful job of detailing various myths (I didn’t want to plagiarise and could never tell it in better words!), does that help? If not, feel free to BM me and explain what information you’d like me to include in a bit more detail as I’m not too sure what you’re referring to. :) Thanks!! xx

    – Tara Lemana

  • Aerhona
    Aerhonaover 5 years ago

    Very well done, lovely drawing.

  • Thanks! :)

    – Tara Lemana

  • Teresa Zieba
    Teresa Ziebaover 5 years ago

    This is perfect, thank you. I only meant that not everybody knows it’s New Zealand and I require name and location of the island for approval. You provided great info Tara. Excellent.

  • Ah ok! No worries then, thanks Teresa! :)

    – Tara Lemana

  • macquaid
    macquaidover 5 years ago

    Excellent combination of art and history.Bravo.Regards.

  • Wow, thanks so much! :)

    – Tara Lemana

  • mrscarlotta
    mrscarlottaover 5 years ago

    I love this gorgeous, just superb art work xxxxxxxxxx

  • Aww thanks honey!!! :) xx

    – Tara Lemana

  • Sally Omar
    Sally Omarover 5 years ago

    Lovely design!!!!!!!!! xoxoxoxo

  • Thanks so much Sally! :) xo

    – Tara Lemana

  • PatriciaLM
    PatriciaLMover 5 years ago

    Your work is remarkable Love it !!!!!! Kapai! Patricia

  • Kia ora Patricia, thanks so very much!!! :)

    – Tara Lemana

  • MoonSpiral
    MoonSpiralover 5 years ago

    This is really well done. I like the use of the spiral design that is so prominent in Maori art and the their moko. Thankyou for the retelling of the myth too!

  • Thanks MoonSpiral, I’m glad you like it! I love the story, myself, so I’m glad my attempt at conveying it spoke to you! :)

    – Tara Lemana

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