Artist. Designer.

Prayer – Inoi: E tō Mātou Matua Nui te Rangi



Acrylic on canvas 1600 x 600mm

Karakia is different to Inoi. Inoi is to a higher being, in my case, to Heavenly Father, a humble acknowledgement that I cannot do everything. Inoi is a term closely akin to the Christian word prayer.

The name of this pattern is called “E tō Mātou Matua Nui te Rangi” meaning that this is calling out to Heavenly Father, to seek to do His will and to seek support and answers for our needs and giving thanks and acknowledging Him in all things.There are two main aspects to this tukutuku pattern. The black lines are people and their prayers going up to Heavenly Father. The blue lines are Heavenly Father’s blessings that can come down upon us. The bottom black line is me in the action of prayer and the first lot of blue lines directly above me are immediate, existing or initial blessings, enlightenment, light or Heavenly Father’s intentions towards me (us). If I leave it at that, then cool, I get these. But if I demonstrate greater sincerity and more sincere demonstrated intentions or yearnings in my actions (the second level of black lines), I have the potential, according to the will of God, to receive even greater blessings. By blessings I include further enlightenment. This pattern of seeking further or greater knowledge can continue.

When I was a four year old, I was in the back of our family van. Dad was driving and in those days we never wore seatbelts and anyways there were no seats in the back of our van. I had a sharp knife and was running around the back of the moving van. I’m a boy and boys love sharp objects. My aunty was in the back with me and yanked the knife out of my hand. I just thought she was the meanest person in the world – stopping my fun. But as I grew, actually aunty’s actions demonstrated she loved me. This is like God’s love to me. Sometimes it seems like His action or my feelings of His inaction says He does not love me, but it is because I do not have the higher wisdom of Heavenly Father.

To me Heavenly Father works in paradoxes (within my mind). When I ask for humility, instead of giving me humility, He gives me opportunities to develop humility. That’s not what I meant, I want to magically just become humble.

Have you even given a child an expensive toy? I have seen that mostly they have been unappreciative and do not look after it. If you are given opportunities to work for what you have, along with this you grow appreciation. It is in our nature to want to receive without price. If there were no opposition in this world, and when we died and went to Heaven, it would be ‘big deal, this is nothing much. I rested heaps when I was alive.’ Our rewards would not be a reward. In hardness we gain much, although at the time, for me, it does not look like or feel like blessings. I have to work at this. 

The biggest group of blue lines (Heavenly Father) with the black box (you, I, us) inside it demonstrates that everything Heavenly Father does is for our benefit. We are always in the forefront of His intentions, mind and actions. This group of lines also represent wings and that, if we allow Him, He will lift us and comfort us in ways that we cannot explain and that even though our problems are not solved, this is important for us to learn patience. 

[1] (accessed 24 April 2020)

I created these, like tukutuku, as a reminder of what the ideal situation should be like. Our intentions is one of working towards these ideals and it works best when all are onboard trying to reach these. Our individuality remains important in being unified in this. Being an individual and unified is an important paradox. It requires all of the principles to reach it and to have happy and successful marriages and families:

PūmauFaithTe Piki ā Rongo
InoiPrayerE tō Mātou Matua Nui te Rangi
RīpenetātangaRepentanceRoimata Toroa
MuruForgivenessHuka Korio
KauanuanuRespectHohou i te Rongo
ArohaLoveNgā Hīhī o te Aroha
Ngākau ArohaCompassionPūpūharakeke
PārekarekaWholesome recreational activitiesTe Whai Wawewawe a Maui

Te Whare Tukutuku explanations: