Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Poutini Kumete • “Poutini” Ceremonial Food Vessel


  • Medium: tōtara
  • Size: 10.5 × 23 × 9 inches
  • Reference Code: K50903

There are many great legends that have been told and passed down by the Māori about the creation of the world and the beginning of the pounamu (New Zealand jade). Poutini is the father of all the varieties of pounamu.

The kumete is a ceremonial food vessel used to contain the sustenance of the higher ranked members of the tribe, and its use was surrounded by tapu (restrictions). The contents of the kumete were not to be touched by others, and therefore the feeding funnel was the main mouthpiece by which the chief was fed.

This kumete “Poutini” is created in the form of the wahaika (hand weapon), for its strength, its sacredness and as a prized possession.

Fayne Robinson

Fayne Robinson


Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Apa Ki Te Ra To, Ngāti Porou

(1964- )

Fayne was born and raised in Hokitika (Te Tai Poutini) on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. He graduated from the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua in 1984. After another four years as a graduate carver, he tutored in Hokitika before returning to Rotorua to further his knowledge of carving. Trained in wananga (traditional schooling), he is now developing his own contemporary style.