Toki Pou Tangata


This toki pou tangata is on hold for Alice (May 3 2024)

Maori toki pou tangata, ceremonial adze. Created by our Maori carvers in Rotorua.
Beautifully carved. This toki pou tangata makes a very special gift.

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Toki – Pou – Tangata (Ceremonial Adze). Authentic Maori art by our carvers in Rotorua.

Beautiful Maori gift.

As mentioned above, a toki pou tangata is a ceremonial adze. It was held by a rangatira (Maori leader of high rank) and was a symbol of chiefly authority. While it was mainly used for ceremonial functions, it could also be used as a weapon (however, this is debatable).

Toki pou tangata – more info by our artist:

The other person that would have more than likely had one apart from the chief was the Tohunga (Priest).

Some examples of their use would be:

  • If a tree was cut down for making a Waka (canoe) or a Wharenui (Meeting house) then the toki poutanagata would be used for the first cut and would then be used again at the start of the project and on completion.
  • It could also be used in Whaikorero (giving speeches, or debates or addressing the people) using it to gesture and emphasise a point or to give more vigour to the process.
  • It is debatable whether it was used as a weapon though there is recording of chiefs taking them into battle along side a weapon.
  • They were also used to dispatch high ranking prisoners taken captive.

Figure at the top and bottom

The figure at the top that looks down the handle is protectively watching the rear of the Toki Poutangata. It can be attributed to an ancestor or an Atua (god) depending on who it was made for and if there was a theme surrounding the piece. The theme could be one of the many a myths and stories in Maori cosmology.

The figure on this one is in the haka stance slapping the sides of the torso. The figure head at the bottom of the handle is called a koreke.

This toki pou tangata

This artwork is made from tulip wood (hardwood). The blade is a lovely piece of dark green pounamu (greenstone).

The toki looks great on the stand that has some koru design on both sides. Beautiful artwork that will look good in your home or office.

Size: 35cm x 20cm x 5cm

  • We try to keep these beautiful Maori artifacts in stock.

Additional information

Weight 2100 g


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