“Woodcarving is the obvious connection between the Māori and the Northwest Coast peoples, as both have a long and refined tradition in this medium. Both historically carved ornate totem poles (in Māori, pou), longhouses (whare tupana), ornate figures (tekoteko) and canoes (waka), among many other object similar in each culture. Due to clear-cutting, which has decimated old-growth stands of native totara and kauri trees across much of New Zealand, wood for carving monumental buildings, sculptures and large ocean-going canoes is now a limited resource, respectfully taken and only under strict guidelines. Much of the wood available today to artists is recovered from swamps, old buildings, trees felled by storms, and through reclamation of trees harvested in the 1880s but inaccessible until recent years.”
Excerpt from Manawa—Pacific Heartbeat
See also: Wero: Pacific Challenge exhibition featuring sculpture by Rex Homan, Lewis Gardiner, and Todd Couper.