The kaokao pattern is a warrior motif dedicated to Tumatauenga (God of War). The “open armpit” form distinguishes the warrior stance. Traditionally, the design was used on takapau whariki (marriage mats) upon which conception was attempted and the resulting issue would be imbued with those qualities. The design was also used on mats upon which warriors would step prior to engaging in battle.
Te Roroa, Ngāti Whātua, Ngā Puhi
Alex worked in traditional materials such as bone, shell, stone and wood until the late 1980s when his brother, Manos, introduced him to Michael Kabotie, the Hopi silversmith. Now Alex works exclusively with silver as his primary material and uses traditional materials as highlights. Adapting and exploring traditional Māori designs within the silver medium, he incorporates traditional motifs in his uniquely constructed and carved silver pieces.
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