About this object

A hoe (canoe paddle) with a carved blade and a curved shaft. There are two humanoid figures on the front of the blade, a smaller one and a larger, and koru (bulbed hook shapes) on the back. The larger figure has a three-fingered right hand held up by its shoulder, and its left hand on its stomach. The heads of the figures have slightly beaked mouths with large cheeks and protruding pointed tongues with rectangular teeth. They have round eyes with no central pegs, and the smaller figure's eyes are shell-inlaid. The main surface patterns are rauponga (several parallel ridges and grooves with a notched ridge in between), and double spirals on the larger figure's left shoulder and towards the tip of the blade. The koru on the back of the blade have very fine, slightly curved grooves between them. The shaft also has rauponga arranged diagonally and some lengthways. The shell inlay is missing from the eyes of the lower figure.

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
    World Museum, Level 3, World Cultures
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Trustees of the Wellcome Collection
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    12.5 x 3.5 x 151.0 cm
  • Note
    Attributions: Possibly made by Te Ngaru, who worked with Tene Waitere around 1900. Ngati Tarawhai or Ngati Pikiao (Roger Neich, March 1994).
  • Related people


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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