Whale Song carving by Nigel Hamahona

Description:  Taurapa are the stern posts of the Maori war canoe and it’s main purpose is to provide the vessel with stability. Certain features on the taurapa assisted with navigation. The main figure on ‘Whale Song’ is Rata, who with assistance from the creatures of the forest, built a war canoe to avenge his father’s death. The smaller figure above him is ‘Hokioi’ (giant eagle) who protects the two ribs in the surface design. One rib is the life force of men, the other is the life force of the gods. The spiral at the bottom represents the turmoil as the battle for each rib continues. The designs within the taurapa (Whale Tail) represents whale songs that can be sent over hundreds of miles. The color is reflective of the depths of the ocean.

Materials Wood (Totara, Rimu), Paua shell, muka (dressed flax fibre), arcrylic paint, feathers, oil, wax.

Dimensions:  32 height x 22in length x 7 1/2 width

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