Mana Atua, Mana Wahine

Wellington City Council


Celebrating the goddesses of Māori legend.

The Māori Universal view of origins as told through pūrākau (storytelling) is rich with powerful female atua (goddesses), some known, but many obscure and lesser known. FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ was a moment to share them with the world. WellingtonNZ partnered with Storybox to tell localised versions of their stories on The Boatshed, a key building on the Wellington waterfront, near to the FIFA Fan Festival and Stadium.

‘Mana Atua, Mana Wahine’  translates as the prestige / power / strength of Goddesses and of women.

Narrated from the perspective of Papatūānuku, Earth Mother, who shares a glimpse about her whanaunga - relative goddesses both before and after her own being: Whaitere (also referred to as Whaitiri), atua of realisation and being comes from primordial creation time and Hine Titama who became Hinenuitepo, is a powerful atua who represents a bond between the gods and humanity.

The project was scripted by Toa Waaka, drawn from his oratory elders and Illustrated in a bold, contemporary, graphic style by our designer, Kimi Moana Whiting. The project shines a light on some of the lesser known stories of female atua, upon a challenging canvas.

The Mana Atua, Mana Wahine animated light projection story was part of a series of public installations created by Storybox in Te Ūpoko o Te Ika - Wellington for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™. This included light shows, signage, wayfinding, and historical storytelling. The Storybox team also created a second series of FIFA Women’s World Cup™ installations in Ōtepoti Dunedin.


Story Concept: Toa Waaka

Designer & Illustrator: Kimi Moana Whiting

Narration: Tui Parker

Mana Atua, Mana Wahine Mana Atua, Mana Wahine
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