Waka pounamu and Totara Hoe
This creative whimsy is simply a thing of beauty. The waka pounamu is carved in water coloured Inanga with currents of deeper colour moving through the hull. The waka itself has a very solid and affirming feel to it. Look closely and you’ll see that it even comes with its very own West Coast sand from its journey to Kaihoka Lakes. And the tiny but realistically proportioned Totara hoe is just, well it’s just too cute! Be careful, the Borrowers might take it.
For all the reasons we talk about in The Story below, Waka pounamu is the perfect gift for someone who is on a journey or who has worked hard and attained a significant goal. Perfect for an upcoming graduation, or for someone taking on a challenging new role or moving to new lands.
Waka are integral to who you are as a Māori. Your waka named in your pepeha tells the listener of your whakapapa. It shows your place in a wider context, helping you to find common ancestral links and whanau connections, therefore building the relationship between the speaker and listener. Waka
Likewise, as the vehicle that moved Māori around the Pacific Ocean, waka represent our connection to our ancestors, their tikanga and culture. Waka pounamu speak of their great feat of navigating the pacific ocean, symbolising the skills and abilities needed to achieve such journeys without modern tools and machinery. As vehicles, they symbolise our own journey and the attainment of our goals as we move forward into the future.
And finally the little Totara hoe? Well as the whakatoki goes,
“He waka kore hoe, He tangata kore huarahi”
(“A waka without a paddle is like a person without direction”)
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