Story: Whakairo – Māori carving

Tā whakairo – carving mallet (1st of 3)

Tā whakairo – carving mallet

This beautiful tā whakairo (carving mallet) is 23.5 centimetres long, and is made from whalebone. The end of the handle has been carved into a stylised representation of a face. This mallet was made around 1800. Many present-day carving mallets are very similar in shape.

Using this item

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: ME0121872

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 - Carving materials and techniques', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 July 2024)

Story by Brett Graham, published 22 Oct 2014