Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Kōruru Ko Paikea • Gable Mask


  • Medium: kowhai, pāua (New Zealand abalone), pounamu (New Zealand jade)
  • Size: 28 × 13 × 3.5 inches
  • Reference Code: KX91201

Koruru, gable mask, which sits at the apex of the front of whare whakairo (carved house). Generally depicting a tipuna (ancestor of significance) to hapu (sub-tribe) or iwi (tribe) of which the whare takes its name. In this case it is Paikea (of “Whale Rider” fame), hence the whale tail on the rae or forehead.

Rays on top of head represent the sun’s rays, as the east coast Tairawhiti region is the first on Te Ika a Maui (North Island) to be touched by the suns rays each new day. Surface pattern: Pakati / Haehae.

Stacy Gordine

Stacy Gordine

Stacy Gordine


Ngāti Porou

(1970- )

“I have been fortunate enough to have a supportive family and met many inspiring people in my life who have encouraged me to follow my talents and passion. My father, a woodcarver himself, imparted his knowledge of woodcraft plus provided a creative environment and stories of my great-uncles Pine and John Taiapa, who were Tohunga Whakairo. I have always respected and been inspired by the artistic achievements by indigenous artisans in Aotearoa and throughout the world.”