According to the tradition of some tribes, carving was invented by Rauru, the son of a remote ancestor named Toi. Others say that an ancestor named Rua, after defeating the Ponaturi, a people who lived under the sea, brought back the carved slabs from the Ponaturi meeting house and used them as patterns for the first Maori carved house. European students have suggested many origins, including Melanesia, Peru, and India. The fact that Maori carving differs from that of tropical Polynesia has given rise to many theories. There is little doubt, however, that the basic patterns came with the Maori from Polynesia. With the exception of Samoa and Niue, carved representations of humans were reasonably common in all of the larger Polynesian islands. Only one figure is known from Samoa, and that may be of Tongan origin. Tongan carved figures are naturalistic, with a pointed chin, the arms normally extended down the sides, and the knees bent. The same pointed chin occurs in the Society Group, the Austral Islands, and some of the Cook Islands. But throughout Eastern Polynesia there is a tendency towards a more grotesque, stylised figure. There is a strong family resemblance among the carved figures of Hawai'i, the Marquesas, and New Zealand. Gilbert Archey has shown that the very common arrangement found in Maori carving (a full-faced relief figure flanked by figures in profile) is also found in Rarotonga. Many of the Maori surface patterns could have evolved from these found in the Cook Islands. Although Maori carving differs from that of the Polynesian islands, it is equally true that the styles of the different islands also differ quite widely from one another.
1. Very three dimensional TEKOTEKO figure in the style later adopted by Master Carver Tuti Tukaokao who left a significant legacy and cultural contribution in his work which can be seen throughout Tauranga and the Western Bay. Tuti Tukaokao (also known as Tony Tukaokao) belonged to the iwi of Ngati Ranginui and Te Arawa, but his main hapu links were with Ngaitamarawaho of Judea and Ngati Hangarau of Bethlehem. Full ta moko face tattoo. Traditional top knot. Three finger hands held to side of thigh. Stance & deep pointed chest reminiscent of Tonga Goddess and Nukuoro Caroline Islands figures.
Height: 31 cm (12 inches).
2. Exceptional old traditional TEKOTEKO fully carved in the round with complete full body and face ta Moko tattoo. Three finger hands clasped on ta moko buttocks. Base & top spiral carved. Shell inlay eyes. Protruding tongue. Deep rich dark age patina.
Height: 19 cm (7.5 inches).
3. Large Tekoteko in traditional form. Superbly carved with great power & mana. Beautiful full face ta moko tattoo, shell inlay eyes. Deeply carved moko tattoos on upper thigh. Four fingered hands clasped across belly. Three toed feet face sideways. Deep rich dark age patina.
Height: 31cm (12 inches).SOLD