Story: Sexualities

Sexual symbolism on waka huia

Sexual symbolism on waka huia

This waka huia (treasure box) was produced by an unknown carver, probably from the east coast of the North Island, between 1800 and 1850. The lid is dominated by a male and a female figure engaged in sexual intercourse. Sexual symbolism was often incorporated into Māori decorative art, and sexual union was celebrated rather than seen as sinful.

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: OL000003

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How to cite this page:

Louisa Allen, 'Sexualities - Sexualities – then and now', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/30853/sexual-symbolism-on-waka-huia (accessed 21 June 2024)

Story by Louisa Allen, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 17 Jul 2018