Story: Chatham Islands

Moriori tree carvings (1st of 2)

Moriori tree carvings

Early Moriori carved designs – dendroglyphs – of people and their surroundings on kopi (karaka) trees. Nicole Whaitiri, aged 10, who is of Moriori descent, looks at this example in 2010. Such carvings are estimated to be up to 300 years old. The trees, and therefore the carvings, are unlikely to survive much longer due to disease and wind erosion. A joint Department of Conservation and University of Otago team digitally scanned 98 carvings on 93 trees as a way to preserve them.

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Dominion Post
Reference: 2003-DPT-chatham0408.JPG
Photograph by Ross Giblin

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How to cite this page:

Rhys Richards, 'Chatham Islands - From first settlement to 1860', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/37790/moriori-tree-carvings (accessed 27 May 2020)

Story by Rhys Richards, updated 1 May 2015