Story: Tangihanga – death customs

Waka kōiwi

Waka kōiwi

This waka kōiwi (burial chest) is in the shape of a lizard. Lizards were traditionally feared and the carving was intended to protect the remains should someone come across the chest. The waka kōiwi was found in a cave at Waimamaku near Hokianga.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Elsdon Best, The Maori. Wellington: Board of Maori Ethnological Research for the Author and on behalf of the Polynesian Society, 1924, pg 277

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How to cite this page:

Rawinia Higgins, 'Tangihanga – death customs - Traditional preparations for tangihanga', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 November 2020)

Story by Rawinia Higgins, published 5 May 2011