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Te Puawai o Te Arawa, Pātaka

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Joy of Museums - Te Puawai o Te Arawa, Pātaka

Te Puawai o Te Arawa, Pātaka

Te Pokiha Taranui (?–1901) who was a notable New Zealand Māori tribal leader and soldier commissioned traditional carvers to carve this Pātaka. A Pātaka is a traditional Māori storehouse which was used to keep preserved food such as fish, birds and seed safe from kiore or Pacific rats.

Completed in the early 1870s, the pātaka symbolised the status and power of Te Pokiha. The ancestral figures illustrate his genealogy and notable ancestors of Te Pokiha tribe. Carved from totara and painted red, with black panels, all the carved figures have paua shell inset eyes.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Joy of Museums - Te Puawai o Te Arawa, Pātaka 2

Feature on each side are naturalistic embracing couples

Among the many historical, cultural and specimen objects in the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Tāmaki Paenga Hira, the following are highlights:

Te Puawai o Te Arawa, Pātaka

  • Exhibit:                   Te Puawai o Te Arawa, Pātaka
  • Materials:               Wood
  • Date:                        1870s
  • Culture:                   Māori, Te Arawa tribe
  • Origin:                     Maketu, Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand
  • Museum:                Auckland War Memorial Museum

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“As man disappears from sight, the land remains.”
– Maori Proverb

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Photo Credit: JOM