About this object

A hoe (canoe paddle) with a carved blade. There are two humanoid figures and a head on the front of the blade, the larger male figure in the middle and the head at the bottom. Both figures have three-fingered hands held on their stomachs, protruding double tongues with surface decoration and their eyes are circular shell-inlaid discs with no central pegs. The figures have interlocking double spirals on shoulders and hips and a surface decoration of rauponga (several parallel ridges and grooves with a notched ridge in between) with long pakati (dog's-tooth notches) in places. There are simple scooped shapes at the point of the blade at front and back. The rest of the back of the blade has koru (bulbed hook shapes) with haehae (grooves) between. The handle is straight and round in cross-section, with carved rauponga in whakarare along it (a distorted pattern where the ridges of the rauponga regularly curve across the line of notches), except at the end, where the rauponga are arranged in arcs with long pakati. The end of the handle is slightly thicker than the rest. The shell inlay is missing from the right eye of the larger figure and the left eye of the smaller.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    1951 before
  • Materials
    Wood; Abalone (Haliotis sp); Technique: Carved, inlaid
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Trustees of the Wellcome Collection
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    13.5 x 3.2 x 150.0 cm
  • Note
    Attributions: Carved all over the blade by Tene Waitere. Rotorua, about 1900 (David Simmons, October 1981); probably Ngati Tarawhai (Tene Waitere was one of this group) (Roger Neich, March 1994).
  • Related people


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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