Story: Papatūānuku – the land

Ipu whenua

Ipu whenua

Māori traditionally bury the placenta of a newborn baby in a special place. This was often done in vessels called ipu whenua, which were originally made from gourds. This replica ipu whenua was carved by Jacob Heberley of Te Āti Awa from tōtara wood.

Using this item

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, 'Papatūānuku – the land - Whenua – the placenta', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/11435/ipu-whenua (accessed 15 December 2019)

Story by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, published 24 Sep 2007