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Picture for category Whakairo Rākau - National Wood Carving School

Whakairo Rākau - National Wood Carving School

Since the first intake at Te Wānanga Whakairo, many young Māori from iwi (tribes) throughout New Zealand have been taught the Māori practice of wood carving under the expert guidance of master carvers who were once trainees at the school. This tohu (qualification) is for three years and is 40 hours per week, 47 weeks of the year.

Would you like something custom made just for you?  Commission a piece here

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Hei Tiki - 4413AH

Hei tiki are the best known of all Māori adornments.

Tiki are symbols of fertility that depict a new-born child. They are often family heirlooms bearing personal names and embodying their wearers lineage. As with most Māori personal adornments, hei tiki are often passed down generationally.

Material: Rātā

Measurements: 120mm x 65mm x 25mm
$890.00

Tekoteko - 2162HC

The tekoteko is a stylised representation of the main progenitor of a tribe and is the most focal point of the whare whakairo (carved tribal meeting house). They can be found – on traditional meeting houses – either at the highest point at the front apex of the roof or at the front central post. They can also be found at the base of the poutokomanawa (the main central ridge support post) of the house.

Material: Tōtara

Measurements: 345mm x 75mm x 75mm
$2,255.00

Tekoteko - 2566LB

The tekoteko is a stylised representation of the main progenitor of a tribe and is the most focal point of the whare whakairo (carved tribal meeting house). They can be found – on traditional meeting houses – either at the highest point at the front apex of the roof or at the front central post. They can also be found at the base of the poutokomanawa (the main central ridge support post) of the house.

Material: Tōtara

Measurements: 670mm x 130mm x 135mm
$8,900.00

Tekoteko with Wahaika - 2106IK

The tekoteko is a stylised representation of the main progenitor of a tribe and is the most focal point of the whare whakairo (carved tribal meeting house). They can be found – on traditional meeting houses – either at the highest point at the front apex of the roof or at the front central post. They can also be found at the base of the poutokomanawa (the main central ridge support post) of the house.

Material: Kauri

Measurements: 500mm x 103mm x 90mm
$3,500.00

Tekoteko with Māripi - 2140LM

The tekoteko is a stylised representation of the main progenitor of a tribe and is the most focal point of the whare whakairo (carved tribal meeting house). They can be found – on traditional meeting houses – either at the highest point at the front apex of the roof or at the front central post. They can also be found at the base of the poutokomanawa (the main central ridge support post) of the house.

Material: Tōtara

Measurements: 800mm x 200mm x 200mm
$5,000.00

Waka Tūpāpaku - CI3348

A waka tūpāpaku is a box used for containing the bones of a person of high rank after they had been exposed on the atamira platform, the flesh removed and the bones anointed with oil and red ochre, placed in a waka tūpāpaku and taken to a tribal buriel cave.

Material: Tōtara

Measurements: 580mm x 140mm x 110mm
$3,500.00

Tekoteko - 0955TI

The tekoteko is a stylised representation of the main progenitor of a tribe and is the most focal point of the whare whakairo (carved tribal meeting house). They can be found – on traditional meeting houses – either at the highest point at the front apex of the roof or at the front central post. They can also be found at the base of the poutokomanawa (the main central ridge support post) of the house.
$3,000.00

Tekoteko - CI2853

The tekoteko is a stylised representation of the main progenitor of a tribe and is the most focal point of the whare whakairo (carved tribal meeting house). They can be found – on traditional meeting houses – either at the highest point at the front apex of the roof or at the front central post. They can also be found at the base of the poutokomanawa (the main central ridge support post) of the house.
$1,800.00

Tokotoko - 2146TH

Tokotoko are used when speaking on the marae – by esteemed orators – to indicate the direction of a speaker’s kōrero (speech). They often have the whakapapa (genealogy) of the orator carved into them and these can also be referenced by the orator during his address.

Material: Rātā

Measurements: 970mm x 45mm x 35mm
$3,700.00

Kumete - 2855SL

Kumete or bowls were used for storing and serving food. They came in an assortment of sizes, depths and shapes, and were used in formal settings to impress high-standing manuhiri (visitors). Many kumete acquired personal names and were passed from one generation to another.

Material: Mataī

Measurements: 610mm x 200mm x 200mm
$8,500.00

Wakahuia - 2100DH

Customarily wakahuia were vessels used for housing valuable feathers of the revered native huia bird. Following the extinction of the huia, wakahuia are now more commonly used to retain the treasured heirlooms of its owner such as hei tiki and other adornments. Wakahuia were originally designed to be suspended from the rafters of a dwelling and therefore had as much carving on the lower surface as the top. Wakahuia were highly prized and carefully treasured as they were passed between generations as heirlooms. They were often gifted between whānau, hapū and individuals to acknowledge relationships, friendships, and other significant social events.

Material: Tōtara

Measurements: 450mm x 190mm x 90mm
$2,900.00

Papahou - 2648DH

Papahou are predominantly made to house small, treasured belongings and were historically owned by people of high standing within their tribe. Papahou were highly prized and carefully treasured as they were passed between generations as heirlooms.

Material: Tōtara

Measurements: 405mm x 130mm x 100mm
$3,500.00