Ka ora ai te iwi
Kumete means food bowl. But the intricacy of this piece, carved from a recycled tōtara verandah post, has far more levels of complexity and depth of meaning than just a bowl, in the story it tells.
As a food bowl, a kumete symbolises plenty and abundance. Unlike any other you'll find, this kumete is shaped in the form of a poaka (pig), with its mouth as the pouring spout. This adds another level of symbolism - the richness and abundance of the meat.
On the joints of the pig are raperape, representing the energy and movement we have when we are well-fed in times of plenty.
This prestige piece from Tohunga Whakairo Michael Matchitt deserves pride of place - in a boardroom or reception area where its beauty and the skill of the work can be appreciated, and abundance can be invited.
73cm x 16cm x 17cm 2.4kg
The master storyteller
This poupou, in Te Tai Tokerau sinuous form, illustrates the carver. A master in his art, an historian and storyteller. The role of the carver is to record histories - significant places and events - and to do so he must become expert in his skill.
The surface patterning on this piece is unaunahi - a moana or marine pattern - alluding to an East Coast narrative about the origins of carving resting with Tangaroa, the God of the Sea.
This exquisite piece could be used to memorialise or acknowledge a master of any skill or industry - from academia to leadership or contribution to community - for the mastery of the carver represents all of these.
81cm x 17cm x 6cm 3.4kg
Kauri Waka Hue
That which we treasure
An exercise in the melding of traditional forms and concepts in a modern world brought Michael Matchitt to create the waka hue series. Traditionally, a waka huia was a repository for things precious - often huia feathers. A hue or gourd was also a storage receptacle.
This piece combines the form of a hue with the concept of a waka huia. The product is a stunningly beautiful contemporary work with much symbolism in that it can house your physical taonga (treasures) or metaphorically, your dreams and aspirations.
29.5cm x 14.5cm x 6.5cm 812g
Of whakapapa and collaboration
Inspired by an earlier collaboration with Blacksmith Rob Pinkney, Michael Matchitt has for a number of years created a series of pātītī or trade axes. The axe form has an obvious appeal as a weapon and tool, with its inherent power.
The pātītī also tells a story of whakapapa through its surface patterning and through the concept of the trade axe - an item of significant value that was traded between Māori and the early European settlers.
When this piece is given as a gift, it takes on the whakapapa (history) of the recipient, and becomes a marker of power in their life journey.
29cm x 12.5cm x 1.5cm 430g
The waxing and waning of the moon
Inspired by American First Nations Moon Masks, Michael Matchitt set out to combine the traditional wheku form with the symbolism of the moon. Moon masks represent the four cycles of the moon, as well as the ebb and flow of the tides. The four paua discs allude to those cycles and the depth of meaning within.
A wheku represents something spiritual, intangible, and the phases of the moon in the maramataka (lunar calendar) identify times of new life and growth, as well as rest and dormancy. For you, this might represent a time of growth and replenishment, or the memory of a period of loss and mourning.
(Consider purchasing this as a pair with the Tōtara Parata)
30cm x 19cm x 34mm 376g
A turuturu is a weaving peg, and this exquisite piece is made from pūriri sourced in Whaingaroa (Raglan). Traditionally, 4 weaving pegs would be used while weaving a korowai (cloak). Korowai were once held in the highest esteem - so much so there are stories of a single korowai being traded for a waka taua (a war canoe).
In this sense, the wealth of an iwi or hapū or whānau could be seen to rest in the hands of the weaver - the kairaranga. This piece would be a fitting acknowledgement for a skilled weaver, or perhaps someone who is a rangatira - a leader - and provides for the wellbing of the whānau, hāpu, or iwi.
46cm x 42mm x 42mm 323g
Inspired by American First Nations Moon Masks, Michael Matchitt set out to combine the traditional parata form with the symbolism of the moon. Moon masks represent the four cycles of the moon, as well as the ebb and flow of the tides. The four paua discs allude to those cycles and the depth of meaning within.
A parata represents a human face - a person of significance in your life - and the phases of the moon in the maramataka (lunar calendar) identify times of new life and growth, as well as rest and dormancy. For you, this might represent a time of growth and replenishment, or the memory of a period of loss and mourning.
(Consider purchasing this as a pair with the Tōtara Wheku)
25cm x 15cm x 6cm 436g
To claim our rightful place
The clean and simple lines of this iconic tiki form make it both a timeless and contemporary piece.
Look closely to see the marks of the chisel that has been used to pare and smooth the surface of the recylced tōtara - Michael Matchitt is known for his traditional methods rather than the power tools and sandpaper used by so many carvers of today.
The tiki is the primordial human form, found in Māori and Pasifika cultures for thousands of years.
23cm x 13.5cm x 6cm 200g
Energy to forge ahead
When Michael Matchitt was gifted this piece of Hongoeka (a New Zealand native also known as Lancewood) from the small rural town of Te Awamutu, he could see the form of a patu - a traditional weapon now given as a prestigious gift. And as the shape emerged, so did kiri kiore - a surface pattern that exudes energy and movement.
For the strength, energy, and courage to forge ahead, this patu would make a stunning 21st gift, and far more culturally significant than the post-colonial 21st key.
35cm x 25cm x 9cm 226g
Tradition and whakapapa
One of the most iconic carved forms in Māori culture, a parata is a carved human face. The mataora (facial tattoo) on this piece combines patterns traditionally used on the face with kowhaiwhai which could be seen as less traditional in this placement. All of these patterns represent whakapapa - genealogical lines.
This is an amazing entry-level piece for your indigenous art collection, and is perfect for overseas travel or shipping at less than 500grams. This is a classic and powerful Michael Matchitt work.
25cm x 15cm x 6cm 436g
A hoe or paddle simply references journeys and forward momentum. But the levels of symbolism in this piece are many-layered. Michael Matchitt has taken a piece of kauri from Kaihu in Northland - with the story imbued in it throughout its life as pallet for transportation - and and then engraved onto it's surface a traditional story.
The circular pattern, rauru, according to the Ngāti Awa tribe, speaks of the first carver - a man so powerful he only needed to say things once. "Rauru kī tahi."
Below that is a variant of pūhoro, a symbol of journeys, travel, and coming of age.
66cm x 14cm x 4cm 630g
Adorned with mana and beauty
A heru (hair comb) is a strong representation of mana (prestige, worth) because of its association with the most sacred part of the body, the head. This heru is in the form of a double-sided wheku looking both forwards and backwards, watching over the wearer as a kaitiaki or guardian.
This heru has a special significance in that it is made of Pohutukawa from Hariki, the beach at Te Kaha where Michael Matchitt grew up. Traditionally worn by both men and women, you will not find another piece with this unique history.
16cm x 4.5cm x 80mm 30g