About this object

An oval waka huia (treasure box) with humanoid heads forming handles at each end of the base. All carved decoration is on the outside of the box. A large female figure is carved in low relief on the lid, with its right hand held to its cheek. The rest of the carved decoration is based on rauponga (several parallel ridges and grooves with a notched ridge in between). These form two large double spirals on the base and run diagonally over the rest of the surface. They also form whakarare (a distorted pattern where several parallel ridges regularly curve across a notched ridge between them) along the central line of the base. There are traces of red paint in the grooves.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    1876 before
  • Materials
    Wood; Ochre Red; Technique: Carved
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, World Cultures
  • Acquisition
    Received in exchange from the Sheffield Public Museum, 1895
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    44.5 x 16.0 x 10.0 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: Gisborne, about 1830-1840, carved with iron tools (David Simmons, August 1978 and October 1981); carved by an associate of Raharuhi Rukupo (Roger Neich, March 1994). Given to Sheffield Public Museum by Rev E Newman in 1876, Ecclesall Church, Sheffield.
  • Related people
    Edward Newman ( Previous owner); Sheffield Museum ( Previous owner)


Previous owners

  • Sheffield Museum

    Owned from: 1876
    How acquired: Exchange
    Owned until: 1895
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Edward Newman

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Gift
    Owned until: 1876
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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