gareth barlow


Mauriora. One of the most beautiful words in the Maori language.

When I sign off most my posts with this word, I simply want to express my best wishes for your health and well being. But there is so much more to this word than that.

I wouldn’t be so bold as to try and sum up the essence of ‘Mauriora’ in one paragraph, or one carving, but this piece represents what I think is the most important element you can take from the word, Mauriora.

Mauri resides in everything. I liken it to a soul. Mauriora is what lies deep within. To discover Mauriora, you must look deep into yourself and everything around you. You must learn to channel and harness the energy that surrounds you. When you have that energy within you, you can achieve almost anything. For you will believe in yourself.

Discovering Mauriora is like discovering a greater dimension to your life. Taking elements that aren’t there for the naked eye, and using them for your every day life. When thriving for a new life or greater goals for you or your whanau, Mauriora will give you greater vision and drive to reach your full potential.

It will take what you may perceive as an ordinary life, and give it that little extra it needs.

This piece represent the harnessing of that energy to drive towards your goals. The energy comes from well beyond your ancestors, back from a time when life was in darkness, and the desire to walk in the light gave birth to the world we know today, and all the possibilities that are waiting for you to achieve.



Hei Huia

Continuing my Huia theme. A taonga representing the feather of the Huia. A beautiful New Zealand native bird not seen since 1907.

When I was carving this piece, I constantly daydreamed about times gone by. Stories from my past kept popping into my head and amusing me as I carved. About half way through, the piece revealed itself to me as a feather. It is from the same tooth that I have carved two other pieces that have had strong connections to the past. So it was funny how I found myself dreaming about my youth as I carved this piece.

Our history and whakapapa are as much of a part of our lives today, as they were yesterday and beyond. It is what makes us what and who we are today. Whatever existed in your past is still with you and can be drawn upon whenever you want.

The wonderful Huia still lives on in our hearts and much as all the people that been in our lives. Nothing can take those times away. And reflecting on those wonderful moments is important in keeping those memories alive, until the time comes to relive them again.