Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)
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Mangotu • Courage of the Shark


  • Medium: kauri
  • Size: 20 × 10 × 7 inches
  • Reference Code: K30201


Over the years, Maori have overcome many obstacles that lie in their path and their tenacious nature has helped them survive and succeed in the modern and changing world. The abstracted side of the mask is the stylized head of a mangopare (hammerhead shark) in a wahaika (weapon club) shape that becomes a protective shield to fight the challenges of life. “These characteristics are best described by mangotu — translated as mango (shark) and tu (to stand strong), hence the courage of the shark”.

Todd Couper

Todd Couper


Ngāti Kahungunu

(1974- )

Todd attended Te Aute Boys College in Hawkes Bay from 1987 to 1991 and quickly excelled in art. In 1995, he completed the Diploma of Art, Craft and Māori Design at Waiariki Institute of Technology in Rotorua; he majored in woodcarving/sculpture and graduated with honours. It was during this time that he met Roi Toia, who was teaching there. Roi, impressed with his talent, invited Todd to apprentice with him. They continue to work together, but Todd has forged his own style and direction in carving, with commissioned pieces residing in collections in the United States, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands. He participated in Kiwa: Pacific Connections (2003) in Vancouver, Canada.

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Spirit Wrestler Gallery

101-1669 West 3rd Ave.
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6J 1K1

Toll Free: 1-888-669-8813
Phone: 604-669-8813


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one block West of the Granville Island gates
Between Pine St. and Fir St.

Tuesday to Saturday, open 10-5
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