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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 that 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 symbolized the status and power of Te Pokiha. The ancestral figures illustrate his genealogy and notable ancestors of the 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

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

A Tour of the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Tāmaki Paenga Hira

A Tour of New Zealand’s Museums


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


Photo Credit: JOM

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