About this object

A rounded rectangular waka huia (treasure box) with humanoid heads at each end of the base forming handles. Only one head has a carved surface design. All carved decoration is on the outside of the box. The main design elements are based on rauponga (several parallel ridges and grooves with a notched ridge in between) in overlapping arcs in each quarter. The lid and base both have a lengthways midline of pakati (dog's-tooth notches), each interrupted by four small flat circles. Two of the circles on the base are carved out with central pegs, probably for shell-inlay (not present). May be unfinished. Red pigment remains in some grooves.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Wood; Red paint; Technique: Carved
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Mrs Irene Beasley, 1954
  • Collector
    Harry Geoffrey Beasley
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    48.0 x 10.0 x 6.5 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. Attribution: East Coast, 1860 (David Simmons, October 1981). Acquired by Beasley from Stevens' Auction Rooms, 12 June 1936, Lot 181.
  • Related people
    Harry Geoffrey Beasley ( Collector); Irene Marguerite Beasley ( Previous owner); J C Stevens ( Previous owner)


Previous owners

  • Irene Beasley

    Owned from: 1936-06-12
    How acquired: Gift
    Owned until: 1954
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • J C Stevens

    Owned from: 1936-06-12
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1936-06-12
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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