Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Tūtarakauika • Guardian Whale


  • Medium: resin (Koris), pāua (New Zealand abalone), granite base
  • Size: 8 × 10 × 1.75 inches (incl. base)
  • Reference Code: KX101102

“This sculpture is based on the hand-to-hand combat weapon the Wahaika. The design is inspired by nature and modeled to capture the grace, beauty and power of the Sperm Whale that was so revered by our tīpuna (ancestors). It was the most highly regarded of all the whales because of its strong and solid jaw, which was used to make such weapons, and for their highly prized teeth. The design incorporates the pectoral fin, the shape of the fluke in the blade which is boarded by a row of subtly curved limbs reflecting movement through water, the peak on the nose refers to the blowhole, and the inclusion of a tooth demonstrates it is a Sperm Whale. Such mana (prestige) did the creature possess in the eyes of our tīpuna, that they referred to it as ‘tipua’, a creature beyond mortal power, and therefore were regarded as guardians of the ocean. The piece is carved in male and female effigy to reflect the harmonious balance of guardianship.”

Tākuta Ferris

Tākuta (Doc) Ferris

Tākuta (Doc) Ferris


Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Raukawa

(1978- )

Tākuta was taught the art of carving by his father as a young boy and quickly developed a passion for the art form, he then went on to further his knowledge and skill by completing degrees in Māori Design and Art and Mātauranga Māori (Māori studies) at Te Wānanga o Raukawa (indigenous institute of higher learning).