Archive for the ‘Maori’ Tag

More from Aotearoa   10 comments

Just in case you were wondering! Aotearoa is the Maori name for New Zealand meaning “Land of the long White Cloud”

Hotunui or Meeting House.

Interior view of Hotunui, a carved meeting house built in 1878 for the Ngāti Maru people, Thames, New Zealand, by carvers from the Ngāti Awa tribe of Whakatane, as a wedding present when Mereana Mokomoko, a Ngāti Awa woman, married Wīrope Hōterene Taipari, a Ngāti Maru leader. The house has been in the Auckland War Memorial Museum since about 1920.


The walls are decorated by poupou (wall posts) depicting ancestors. The carvings are flanked by decorative tukutuku panels. The rafters are decorated in swirling white, red, and black kōwhaiwhai designs.




This is a Pataka, basically a fridge, larder/pantry all rolled into one, food was kept in pataka, The building is raised off the ground to be free from rats and damp-ness.

A large pataka was the sign of abundance of food and their fore a wealthy chief.



Posted December 18, 2012 by rigmover in New Zealand

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Maori Carving’s   13 comments

Some shots from my wife’s visit to NZ, I’ve met a lot of people in my travels but some of the nicest people I have ever met have been Maori, kind and pleasant  folk.

In some respects, carving is the written record of a people who, until the nineteenth century, knew nothing of writing. Carvings preserve much of the history and culture of Māori.

Though Māori carving differs substantially from other Pacific carving it seems certain that the basic patterns were brought to New Zealand by the Māori from their ancestral homeland of Hawaiki. The distinctive style of Māori carvings is partly due to the isolation of the Māori from the rest of Polynesia. An abundance of timber such as tōtara and kauri provided a perfect medium for carving, as did an ample supply of pounamu (greenstone or jade). My wife brought me back a stunning piece of Pounamu which I now wear every day.

The highly competitive iwi (tribal) system in New Zealand which existed at the end of the eighteenth century probably acted as a spur to the production of superior houses, canoes, ornaments and weapons as a matter of prestige. However, the greatest advance for the art of the carver came with the introduction of steel tools in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Carvings cannot be ‘read’ in the European sense. They are a record of tribal affairs and pay deep respect to ancestors, history and the people for whom they are prepared. The protruding tongue, as used in the haka (war dance), is intended as a symbol of defiance, determination and strength.

Posted December 13, 2012 by rigmover in New Zealand

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