Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Papahou (Feather Bowl)


  • Medium: tōtara, pāua (New Zealand abalone)
  • Size: 3.75 × 18.5 × 5.5 inches
  • Reference Code: K90701

One of the most sought after Maori artifacts and indeed works of art by early visitors to Aotearoa were Papahou. These beautifully carved boxes contained feathers used in the hair of high chiefs. Other objects such as earrings and ornaments were also placed in them. As they were possessions of high chiefs, these boxes were seen as sacred and were suspended from the rafters of the chiefs’ house out of harms way.

The Papahou is flat and a more box-like in shape, as the name suggests papa-flat, hou-tail feathers. At the end of this Papahou are two manaia (half profile figures). These are guardians protecting the Papahou and its contents. The lines of figures along the lid have the same purpose. They also act as grips to take off the lid. There are two surface designs used on the Papahou. The spiral type design is called Rape Rape and is used to create movement. It has its origins in tamoko or Maori tattooing. The other pattern used is Hae Hae the cut line which means to slice. Pakati is the notch type design used that means to cut deeply.

Clive Ernest Fugill

Clive Ernest Fugill


Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Tainui, Ngāti Rangiwewehi

(1949- )

Clive Fugill was born 15 January 1949, of both Tainui and Ngati Ranginui tribal affiliation. Mr Fugill was one of seven successful applicants for the NZ Maori Arts and Crafts Institute’s first intake for a three year carver training course. He commenced his training in January 1967 and graduated in December 1969. Five of the graduates from that course returned to the Institute for post-graduate training, with Mr Fugill and two others being retained by the Institute to develop their carving skills under the watchful eye of the late Master Carver, Hone Taiapa.