Wakahuia Kauri Taonga treasure holder

Paora Martin
SKU: 11697
Availability: 1 in stock


Papa hou - treasure holder

This Papa hou is carved in New Zealand out of New Zealand kauri by our Taonga carver, Paora Martin.

Artist Paora Martin Whakapapa.

Ko Tainui te waka

Ko Tainui Taku iwi

Ko Ngati Whawhakia taku hapu

Ko Taupiri te maunga

Ko Te Ohaki te puia Marae


Waka huia and Papa hou are treasure containers made by Māori - the indigenous people of New Zealand. These treasure containers stored a person's most prized personal possessions, such as hei-tiki (pendants), feathers for decorating and dressing the hair such as the tail feathers of the huia (Heteralocha acutirostris), heru (hair comb) and other items of personal adornment. Waka huia and papa hou were imbued with the tapu (taboo) of their owners because the boxes contained personal items that regularly met with the body, particularly the head (the most tapu part of the body).

Waka huia and papa hou were designed to be suspended from the low hanging ceiling of Māori whare (houses) where their beautifully carved and decorated undersides could be appreciated. They were highly prized in themselves and carefully treasured as they passed between generations. As taonga (treasures), waka huia and papa hou were often gifted between hapu (sub-tribes), whanau (families), and individuals to acknowledge relationships, friendships, and other significant social events. It is common to find waka huia and papa hou of one carving style among a tribe who practice a different style.

The rectangular form of papa hou is a northern variation of the more widespread waka huia, which are canoe shaped. The other main difference between the two forms is that papa hou are not carved on the bottom, whereas waka huia is.

Free of charge within New Zealand. For international courier contact Christine Rabarts on chris@breadandbutter.co.nz 

If your space demands something unique, contact Christine Rabarts for your personal in-house art consultation.

M: 027 629 7408

E: art@christinerabarts.com

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