Story: Whakairo – Māori carving

Houmaitawhiti meeting house

Houmaitawhiti meeting house

Houmaitawhiti was the father of Tamatekapua, captain of the Arawa canoe. This whare whakairo (carved house) was built and named for him in 1860 at Maketū by his Ngāti Pikiao descendants. As with many other whare whakairo from this period, Houmaitawhiti was built partly from dismantled war canoes. In the early 20th century it was moved to Pounamunui marae on the shore of Lake Rotoiti, since many Ngāti Pikiao now lived there. This photograph of the house in its original location shows clearly the superb carvings by Wero Tāroi of Ngāti Tarāwhai.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, National Publicity Studios Collection
Reference: 1/2-039273-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 - The Rotorua school', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 May 2022)

Story by Brett Graham, published 22 Oct 2014