Lot: 52

Model war canoe "waka taua"

New Zealand, Maori

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Pierre & Claude Vérité, Paris, France L: 90.6 inch 14000 EUR / 25000 EUR

wood, brown patina, shell inlay, cord, consisting of several parts, prow with large "tiki" figure, high raised stern in elaborate openwork design, the sides ornamentally carved, with "tiki" faces among others, wood strengthener lashed to the out- and inside, rims of the boat connected by twelve cross bars (partly renewed, respectively rep.), slightly dam., breakages (prow), various missing parts. The prow was personally restored by Pierre Vérité. Model of one of the largest and most prestigious of all Maori canoes, a "waka taua" war canoe, which could reach up to 24 m in lenght. They were used to transport warriors in times of conflict and possibly also for the ritual transfer of ancestors' bones to burial sites. "Waka taua" were considered "tapu" (taboo) and could carry neither women nor common freight such as food.

Starzecka, Dorota C. et. al., The Maori Collections of the British Museum, London 2010, p. 152, ill. 2 f.