Lisa Reihana

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1964
Ngāti Hine, Ngā Puhi, Māori

A Maori Dragon Story

  • 1995
  • 16mm animation transferred to h264mpeg4
  • Purchased 2021
  • 2021/132

Lisa Reihana’s A Māori Dragon Story is a customary Waitaha tale of lust, jealousy, revenge and death, relayed through innovative animation. As told by Ngāi Tahu scholar Teone Taare Tikao, Hine Ao of Akaroa and her father Te Ake met with rangatira Tūrakipō of Ōpāwaho at Ōhikuparuparu, now the local seaside suburb of Sumner. Tūrakipō expressed his desire for Hine Ao and was angered when she rejected him. He called on his powers as a tohunga to cast a curse that caused Hine Ao to die at sea. In response to this loss, Te Ake learnt the art of mākutu to avenge his daughter’s death. Te Ake delivered a karakia that awakened a giant taniwha with Hine Ao’s head, guiding the creature through the seas toward the Ōpāwaho people, who killed and feasted on the poisoned taniwha and died. Sharing this dramatic story through visual animation, A Māori Dragon Story is an early example of Lisa’s dynamic and pioneering moving image practice.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History