the symbol and spirit of Aotearoa
Manu (birds) are significant kaitiaki (guardians) for Māori. In this series the carved space is representative of a womb—a protective repository for taonga (precious objects). It’s a play on the concept of a wakahuia—a traditional treasure box which often held prized chiefly huia feathers. Here, the artist makes the bird the storehouse for treasures instead. Place your precious things like pounamu (greenstone) and hei tiki (pendants) in your manu’s protective care.
Pākati and haehae are contemporary surface patterns more commonly found in Post-European carvings than their Pre-European predecessors. They can be used to decorate and to represent lines of whakapapa.
Rauru is a specific application of pākati and haehae which commemorates the ancient carver who created this design.
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. The artist uses chisel and mallet, not sandpaper, to create the smooth surface and clean lines. Each piece is uniquely hand carved.