Monday, June 8, 2009

Far North Resort Supports Maori Craftsmanship

Karikari Peninsular, Far North. April 2009. Ajr
Carrington Resort is a gorgeous retreat set on 3,000 acres of land on the stunning Karikari Peninsula in the Far North of New Zealand. I visited and stayed over in late April and was thrilled to discover that the resort’s handsome golf course comes complete with tekoteko (carved figures). Every hole of the course features one of the figures, which represent various forces of nature. The works were carved in native timbers by Master Carver Takirirangi Smith and carvers, Paki Wilson of Rotorua and Pahi O’Connell of Taranaki under the tutelage of Hekenukumai Ngaiwi Puhipi (Hector Busby); and each one stands next to each set of tee boxes throughout the golf course. I didn’t have time to photograph every one of them – heaven forbid, that would have been like doing a round of golf – but I did snap those closest to the main lodge. Kahungunu (above and below) was my favourite. According to the Carrington booklet, “A Po Kai Whenua like his father, Tamatea, who stands near the beginning of the course, Kahungunu was known for his virility and winning ways with women. He had eight wives. A caress is said to bring success.”

Smaller deep red carvings adorn most of the tees. This composite image includes both Tamatea (left), the Po Kai Whenua overlooking the first holes of the course; and Tiwhaia (right). Tiwhaia “represents or is ‘Atua’ for eyesight and alertness. Known for looking sideways, he stands with his head turned to the side, overlooking the eight fairway and practice green.

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