Te wiki o te Reo – Wairua Bowl

In the musuem’s foyer is a Wairua Bowl, a cast glass bowl containing water. Many people ask about the significance of this beautiful bowl. Here is a link to the correct pronunciation of Wairua.
Māori regard water as a cleanser of the soul, a soothing and healing agent and a symbol of blessing. Wairua is the spirit or essence of a being that exists from the moment the eyes are formed in the foetus to beyond death; wairua is immortal. Once a person has passed from this life their wairua becomes tapu or sacred.
The carvings and tukutuku panels in the museum that embody the spirits of our tūpuna carry their wairua. That means the museum is imbued with their spirit and they watch over us as our spiritual guardians. The wairua bowl allows the visitor to cleanse themselves of the tapu or sacred before they re-enter the everyday world. A few drops of water splashed over the head and you become noa, which means free from tapu, everyday or ordinary.
The bowl was cast by Jimi and Lisa Walsh of Waverley. Ironsand from Waverley beach is incorporated into the fabric of the bowl.

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