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Object: Whakapakoko rakau

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Title Whakapakoko rakau
Production Unknown (carver), 1750-1850, New Zealand
Medium summary Wood
Materials wood
Classification ceremonial objects, god sticks
Technique woodcarving
Dimensions Overall: 283mm (Height) x 48mm (Width) x 70mm (Depth)
Credit line Purchased 1997
Registration number ME016181

This small, well-carved figure features a humanistic face carved with incomplete facial moko (tattoo), a protruding stomach, and a convex body with skeletonised carving between the shoulder blades and upper buttocks.

Carved buttocks
The buttocks are carved in a rape (buttock tattoo) design that is similar to a design drawn in ink pen on paper by Wiremu Maihi Te Rangikaheke (-1896) of Ngäti Rangiwewehi, Te Arawa (Rotorua). The design's quality suggests it is the work of a tohunga (expert craftsman). It would also be an appropriate design for a tohunga to wear.

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Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.