Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Carved Gateway

When I arrived in Taupo last year on my North Island travels, I was surprised to see that this new waharoa (gateway) had sprung up outside the Great Lakes Centre. It was a brilliantly fine day and I couldn't resist taking photographs of its bright new facade against the blue sky.

From there, I went around to Taupo Museum, where, quite by chance, I met the carver who had completed the work - Delani Brown (Te Arawa, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Raukawa). Some of his works were on show in the museum and he was busy at work on a demonstration carving.

The waharoa (above) has been carved from ancient totara logs from Waipohutu Forest of the Pouakani Lands and it features carvings that tell a symbolic and spiritual story about the arrival of geothermal energy in the Taupo region. It was designed and carved by Master carver Delani Brown, who worked closely with Ngati Tuwharetoa kaumatua to receive the stories and historical knowledge that underpins the stories depicted in the carvings.

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