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The Figure head. War canoe NZ | by Bernard Spragg
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The Figure head. War canoe NZ

Above is a carved figurehead of the waka taua (war canoe) Ngatokimatawhaorua, 'launched each February 6 at the celebrations of the Treaty of Waitangi, and on other special occasions'.


Maori carving is spectacular, diverse and deeply symbolic and reverent of the people's ancestors. The tradition had been dying out but both the tribes and the New Zealand government have worked together to bring it back and are teaching the new generations the old carving artistry. The new generation is more involved now, not just in carving but the traditions of weaving and haka (dance) and we can hope to see more for years to come.

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Taken on June 19, 2012