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An Important Maori Presentation Hand Club


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Design, Ethnographic & Ancient Art

An Important Maori Presentation Hand Club

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An Important Maori Presentation Hand Club

New Zealand

1870 - 1880

A Fine Maori Presentation Hand Club or Kotiate
Carved by Patoromu Tamatea

Maire Wood

Length 43 cm (17 in)

Kotiate means cut or divided.
This handsome Maori hand club is finely carved with rolling spirals unauanahi on both sides. The handle is carved with the head of a beaked bird pierced under the head for suspension. Overall it has a fine dark brown patina. Written in ink in the centre circle on one side: "MAORI CLUB BOVIS COLL"

The Maori King Tawahiao* presented the club to a visiting dignitary in 1882
Morris Pinto, Paris
Pierre Bovis, Paris

Auckland Museum
The Museum of New Zealand
Honolulu Academy of Arts

Patoromu Tamatea of Ngati Tamateatutahi built several canoes including Te Ahikaka. After 1864 he carved smaller pieces including patu from maire wood for Gilbert Mair (who became Justice of Peace). A great deal of Tamatea's work, kotiate, bowls, boxes, paddles, combs and pipes are now in the collections of the above listed museums.

*In the middle of the 19th century there was a movement amongst the Maori to establish a Maori King who could claim status similar to Queen Victoria. This was in response to the selling of Maori land to the Colonial Government which resulted in disruption of the social groups. King Tawahiao who reigned from 1860 - 1894 succeeded his father Potatau to become the second king and was successful in setting up a parliament, Kaukanganui, around 1890, with tribally elected delegates to advise and assist in dealings with the British. It exists to this day.
Tawahiao's ancestors came to New Zealand in the Tainui canoe, landing at Kawhia and he was born in 1825 at Rongokoekoea, near Mokau. His father, the celebrated Potatau Te Wherowhero, a chief of the Ngati-Mahuta hapu, of the Waikato tribe was elected by the natives in 1857 as the first Maori King during the time of the widespread disaffection between the Maori and the Colonialists.

Carved Histories by Roger Neich pub. Auckland University Press 2001
Maori Art by A Hamilton pub. London 1977


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