Story: Whakairo – Māori carving

Hōri Pukehika carving with a toki, 1906 (3rd of 3)

Hōri Pukehika carving with a toki, 1906

A toki (adze) was used to shape wood before the carving was finished with a mallet and chisels. However, an expert such as Hōri Pukehika (seen here at the 1906 Christchurch Exhibition) of the Whanganui tribe Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi could bring a carving to a near-final stage with the toki alone. When this photo was taken, Pukehika was one of the few remaining carvers expert in the use of the toki. Its use has since been revived and widely taught.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: 1/2-005558-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, 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 25 June 2024)

Story by Brett Graham, published 22 Oct 2014