Story: Whakairo – Māori carving

Ruatepupuke hei tiki

Ruatepupuke hei tiki

This modern hei tiki (god figure) represents Ruatepupuke, who is said to have introduced carving to Aotearoa. The hei tiki holds a poupou (carved post). It was made in 2009 from cattle bone, with pāua-shell and goat-horn decorations, by Stacy Gordine (of Ngāti Porou). Celebrated carvers Pine and Hōne Taiapa were Gordine's great-great-uncles.

Using this item

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: 2010-0025-1

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

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How to cite this page:

Brett Graham, 'Whakairo – Māori carving - Legendary origins of carving', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 May 2022)

Story by Brett Graham, published 22 Oct 2014