About this object

A boat-shaped waka huia (treasure box) with humanoid heads on the base at each end forming handles. One head is damaged. All carved decoration is on the outside of the box. The major design elements are four large double spirals on the base and one at one end of the lid. The rest of the lid has two long, narrow ellipses down the central section. The box is unfinished; many parts of the surface are smooth and uncarved. The parts that are carved have either pakati (dog's-tooth notches) or haehae (grooves), but not the two together. Both the lid and the base have a circular hole at each end.

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
    44.5 x 9.5 x 6.5 cm
  • Note
    May have been carved using iron tools.

    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: South Taranaki, 1840 (David Simmons, October 1981); South Taranaki - Whanganui, 1820-1840 (Roger Neich, March 1994).

    Acquired by Beasley from Andre Portier, 22 June 1936.
  • Related people
    Harry Geoffrey Beasley (Collector); Irene Beasley (Previous owner); Andre Portier (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?


Previous owners

  • Irene Beasley

    Owned from: 1936-06-22
    How acquired: Gift
    Owned until: 1954
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Andre Portier

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchase
    Owned until: 1936-06-22
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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