Maori kept valuables such as greenstone ornaments or decorative feathers in small, carved boxes called waka huia. The boxes acquired a great deal of spirit, or tapu, directly from the carver and later through the prizes held within the box. Maori consider all such taonga as living treasures to be regarded with reverence.

Physical Description

An oval box and lid made from wood intricately carved with anthropomorphic figures on lid and distinctive figures on either end with inlaid shell for the eyes.

Local Name

waka huia


This box was produced by a highly skilled specialist carver of Te Arawa descent from the Rotorua region. It was used to hold feathers.

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