Te Wheke No. 17
Te Wheke (The Octopus)
Original painting on canvas
Unframed approx 450mm x 700mm (The frame shown is made in a virtual setting to give an example as close as possible to the framing available.)
Te Wheke series is a celebration of the many superpowers of the amazing octopus.
Te Wheke ........
Have 3 hearts, 8 arms and 9 brains.
Have colour changing cells and can change colour in a split second.
Are masters of disguise and can mimic their environment and other animals. Are very smart and learn from experience.
Are great problem solvers and can use tools.
Are boneless and can squeeze into tight spaces.
There are 42 species of octopus in the waters around Aotearoa, including two of the world’s largest types of octopus.
The Giant Gelatinous octopus grows to 4m and the giant South Pacific octopus reaches 3m.
There is a Maori story of Kupe and Te Wheke O Muturangi.
Kupe pursued his enemy Te Wheke O Muturangi down the east coast of the North Island where Te Wheke took refuge in a cave in the reef of Castlepoint (Rangiwhakaoma) below where the lighthouse sits today. The cave is know as Te Ana O Te Wheke O Muturangi) Te Wheke is still thought to reside in the cave in the form of dangerous currents beneath the reef, and the waves that crash on the reef are the arms of Te Wheke.
Where Te Wheke O Muturangi is remembered there are dangerous waters.