the symbol and spirit of Aotearoa
A patu is a traditional Māori weapon and could be made from wood, stone, or whale bone. It may be plan or ornately carved, but either way a patu is now a prestigious gift or award for a person being honoured. People often come to us to carve 21st keys, and from a traditional perspective, we think a patu is much more significant, meaningful, and of cultural integrity. For any award or recognition, a patu is highly prized and can be passed on through the generations.
Both the patu and the base are decorated with kowhaiwhai. Kowhaiwhai is a scroll design. It uses images of plant growth to represent genealogical lines. Kowhaiwhai feature prominently on the ceiling of a wharenui (meeting house) and in tā moko (traditional tattoo).
This style is a contemporary interpretation of a rich traditional cultural icon. The form and shape, while modern, are achieved through the use of traditional tools and practices.