January 26, 2021


This is Tiki, a Maori woodcarving, which hangs on the interior wall opposite the main door of my home. In Maori mythology, Tiki is often related to the first man, as well as associated with the origin of the procreative act. However, the spiral forms on the carving, curved and undulating, are feminine. The earliest deities were fertility-mother-goddesses and one of the most persistent of rain symbols is the spiral. Tiki, a humanoid sculpture, is neither man nor woman. Its glaring paua shell eyes and exposed tongue frighten away evil spirits.

Tiki is my house spirit and it not only serves to mark the sacred boundaries between the outside and the inside of my home, but it also allows the ancestor spirits to enter and dwell among us. Tiki reminds me that the land of my birth and childhood remains an essential source of my creativity. The woodcarving also haunts my thoughts when I encounter Mystery, which never has answers, only questions. I try to be open to its presence and share with others.