Story: Whakairo – Māori carving

Whao – greenstone chisel (2nd of 3)

Whao – greenstone chisel

This carving chisel has a greenstone blade, slightly flared at the edge. It is bound with muka (flax fibre) in two places to a wooden handle. Soon after the arrival of Europeans in New Zealand, greenstone tools like this were replaced by metal carving tools, which were more effective and easier to make.

Using this item

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira
Reference: AM 2579

Permission of the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Brett Graham, 'Whakairo – Māori carving - Carving materials and techniques', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 12 April 2024)

Story by Brett Graham, published 22 Oct 2014