Digging Stick

About this object

A foot-rest attachment (teka) for a digging stick (ko). The carving has a right-angle shape in side view. A humanoid figure supports the upper part, with its hands either side of its mouth, and its stomach or penis extending between knees and elbows. The figure has double spirals with pakati (dog's-tooth notches) on its shoulders and buttocks, pakati with haehae (parallel grooves) and ridges on arms, legs, back and under the chin. There are small plain spirals on the figure's cheeks. The right eye is shell-inlaid and all surfaces are worn smooth.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    1871 before
  • Materials
    Wood; Abalone (Haliotis sp); Technique: Carved, inlaid
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, World Cultures
  • Acquisition
    Accessioned in Liverpool Museum in 1871, from an unknown donor
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    18.5 x 4.2 x 8.6 cm
  • Note
    Probably carved with stone tools, as the grooves are deeper and wider than on items carved with steel tools. Teka were lashed to long paddle-shaped digging sticks for use in planting ceremonies. Attributions: Whanganui, 18th century (David Simmons, October 1981); late 18th century - early 19th century (Roger Neich, March 1994).
Object view = Humanities
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