Digging Stick

RI 123.75

About this object

A footrest attachment (teka) for a digging stick (ko). It has a right-angle shape in profile. A tiki (stylised human) figure "supports" the upper part, with its hands on its stomach, its tongue on its chest, and its penis extending to between its feet and resting on the head of a second figure on the lower section. There are double spirals on the shoulders and buttocks of the figure and elsewhere, with crescents between. The left eye is shell-inlaid. The carving may be unfinished, as the left edge of the upper section is not carved all the way along, only along the right edge of the lower bottom part.

The shell inlay is missing on right eye of the upper figure, and the shell in the left eye is broken. The shell inlay is missing from both eyes of the lower figure.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    1894 before
  • Materials
    Wood; Abalone (Haliotis sp); Technique: Carved, inlaid
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, World Cultures
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Liverpool Royal Institution, from a loan in 1894
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    26.0 x 5.0 x 5.2 cm
  • Note
    Teka were lashed to long paddle-shaped digging sticks for use in planting ceremonies. Attribution: A model, not intended for use, Gisborne, 1840 (David Simmons, october 1981); about 1840, but not necessarily amodel, may be ceremonial (Roger Neich, March 1994).
  • Related people
    Liverpool Royal Institution ( Previous owner)


Previous owners

  • Liverpool Royal Institution

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