Tōtara Kumete - Poaka
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
Kauri Pātītī 1
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
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 wellbeing of the whānau, hāpu, or iwi.
46cm x 42mm x 42mm 323g
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
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