By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

Inspiring future kaiwhakairo

September 21, 2023

Header Image: One of our two expert carvers, Arama, shares the carving process with students from Tokotoko Alternative Education (Whangarei) who recently spent time with our education team

Carving is a celebrated expression of both storytelling and art in Māori culture and can be appreciated in many forms throughout the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

It’s interesting hearing about the impacts that changing technology has had over time on whakairo practices, and the production of whakairo. Our carvers use a blend of modern and traditional materials and methods in their production; for example they may use digital platforms to create designs.

Carvings are a rich part of Waitangi’s story.  Students love exploring Te Whare Rūnanga, our beautifully carved meeting house reflecting the styles of many iwi (tribes), and the magnificent carved war canoe Ngātokimatawhaorua surrounded by carved poupou (carved panels) representing different iwi.

Learn more about the significance of whakairo with students with our  teaching resource – an inquiry unit exploring Identity.

Two striking whakairo created by our carvers welcome visitors into the Carving Studio