The whakapakoko rākau or god stick had a pointed end so it could be stuck into the ground. It was used as a temporary shrine for an atua (deity) by tohunga ahurewa (priestly experts). Tohunga were often responsible for healing people, and sometimes used god sticks to concentrate the power of a particular deity.
Using this item
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Photograph by Augustus Hamilton
Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.