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COLOSSAL TIKI AT RAROERA PAH.
NOT far from the magnificent tomb or papatupapakau of the daughter of the Waikato chief Te Wherowhero (Plate X.) stand several colossal Tikis, or obeliscal posts of wood, carved with grotesque representations of the human figure, and painted with kokowai, or red ochre. Of those still remaining in a state of preservation, the one represented in the accompanying plate is perhaps the most remarkable. It is difficult to conceive the precise intention of this elaborate specimen of Māori skill in the art of carving; but it probably has some connexion with their mythological traditions, and may be intended to portray some of their ancestors, who, according to the legendary tales of the people, landed in a canoe from the Eastward, bringing with them the kumera, or sweet potato. The name of their great ancestor was Maui, the same by which the lower figure in the carving is designated by the inhabitants at the present day. The height of this carved symbolical image is upwards of fifteen feet.
The flax (Phormium tenax) grows in abundance amongst these ruins; other smaller tikis appear in the background."
- A Tiki, at Raroera Pah
- Production date
- hand-coloured lithograph in tints
- 329 x 235 mm
- Credit line
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased with funds from the M A Serra Trust, 1987
- Accession no
- Other ID
- No known copyright restrictions
- New Zealand Art
- Display status
- Not on display
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