Manos Nathan was born in Hokianga in 1948 and his family are proud of their strong Māori and Cretan heritage. Manos’ tribal affiliations are Te Roroa, Ngati Whatua and Nga Puhi.
Graduating from the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design in 1970, he has been at the forefront of the development of the Māori ceramic movement in Aotearoa New Zealand since the mid 1980s. He is a co-founder of Nga Kaihanga Uku, the national Māori clayworkers organisation.
Manos’ work with clay emerged from this background in wood carving and sculpture, as there was no tradition of Māori ceramic art. As a foundation member and former chairperson of Te Atinga, the Contemporary Māori Visual Arts Committee of Toi Māori Aotearoa, Manos has been active in the promotion of contemporary Māori art for twenty five years. He has taken part in many cross-cultural projects between the Māori of New Zealand and the First Nations People of the Pacific Northwest Coast, which has contributed significantly to the cultural fusion and evolution of aboriginal art and culture worldwide.
Manos has exhibited extensively in New Zealand and overseas and is actively involved in cultural exchanges with the indigenous peoples of the Pacific, the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan.
In 2002 Manos was awarded “Te Ara Whakarei” honorary user status for the Toi Iho - Māori Made Mark. Manos was a guest speaker at the 2010 Ulsan International Onggi Expo Programme in South Korea and was awarded the Excellence Prize in the 2009 Ulsan International Onggi Competition. His work is held in collections of the British Museum; the National Museum of Scotland; the Museum fur Volkerkunder, Berlin and Te Papa Tongarewa/Museum of New Zealand.