About this object

A base for a boat-shaped waka huia (treasure box), with humanoid heads at the pointed ends forming handles. All carved decoration is on the outside of the box. The main design elements are four large spirals, one in each of the four quarters, and a heart shape in the middle (based on the koru, bulbed hook, motif). One end is unfinished, the other has smaller spiral/ koru elements. The surface patterns are rauponga (several parallel ridges and grooves with a notched ridge in between).

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Wood; Technique: Carved
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Mrs Irene Beasley, 1954
  • Collector
    Harry Geoffrey Beasley
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    40.6 x 8.2 x 4.0 cm
  • Note
    Waka huia were used to store precious personal ornaments such as hei tiki pendants, and hung from the rafters inside a house, suspended by the two handles.

    Attributions: Late Whanganui in East Coast style (David Simmons, October 1981); Whanganui, mid 19th century (Roger Neich, March 1994).
  • Related people
    Harry Geoffrey Beasley (Collector); Irene Beasley (Previous owner)


Previous owners

  • Irene Beasley

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Gift
    Owned until: 1954
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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